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Alfred Jones (1890-1917)

Hartlepool man served in the 18th DLI commemorated on Arras Memorial

Alfred was born in 1890 in Northallerton, North Yorkshire. He was the son of John and Lettie Jones, his mother originally being from Liverpool. John is not present on the 1890 census, although Lettie is listed as married and a wife suggesting he is alive at this point. Alfred had two older brothers, Theophilus and Charles. At the time of the 1890 census the family were living at 119 Malpas Terrace in Northallerton.

By the time of the 1901 census Alfred’s mother, Lettie, was married to John Lowes, a gamekeeper from Middleton, County Durham. Alfred’s older brother Theophilus is also living with the family and is working as a school teacher. There is a young girl living with the family, Annie Lowes, who is presumably Alfred’s stepsister. At this time they are living in Newsham, Yorkshire.

At the time of the 1911 census, the family have moved to 14 Dorset Street, West Hartlepool. Theophilus is now head of the household with Lettie widowed and having reverted to her previous surname of Jones. Alfred is living with the family at this time and was working as a timber merchant’s clerk. Annie is also living with them and is working as a grocer’s assistant.

A form completed by Alfred’s mother suggests that in 1919 Alfred’s stepsister Annie is his only sibling still alive. It is known that his older brother Theophilus was killed during the war but it is unclear what happened to Charles after the 1891 census.

Alfred attested to the army on 23 March 1915 in West Hartlepool, at which time his occupation was listed as a saw mill’s clerk. At this time he was living at 44 Ashgrove Avenue in West Hartlepool with his mother and his stepsister Annie. He joined the 18th Battalion Durham Light Infantry (DLI) with the service number 18/1419 as a private. On his attestation medical records, he is described as 6 foot, weighing 185 pounds with a scar on his right eye. It is also mentioned that he is left handed which is described as a ‘slight defect but not one which is sufficient to cause rejection’.

In his service records there is a conduct record sheet which suggests he overstayed a period of leave by two days in September 1915 for which he received a punishment of ‘two days confined to barracks’. Alfred arrived in France sometime between 6 April and 8 April 1916. He was attached to the battalion on 22 April 1916 and joined the unit in the field on 7 May 1916. There is some suggestion from his service records that he suffered with a defect in vision in November 1916. Alfred was killed in action on 3 May 1917 during the battle of Arras.

Alfred received the British War Medal and Victory Medal for his service, both of which were sent to his mother. He is remembered on the Arras memorial as well as several memorials in his home town of West Hartlepool.

Alfred’s brother Theophilus, also part of the 18th battalion DLI, died during the war on 16 December 1914 during the bombardment of Hartlepool. He is known to be the first British soldier to be killed in action on British soil in the First World War. There is more information on Theophilus Jones on the following websites:

North East War Memorial’s Project:

Durham at War blog:

Civil Parish: Hartlepool

Birth date: 1890

Death date: 03-Mar-1917

Armed force/civilian: Army

Residence: 119 Malpas Terrace in Northallerton (1890 census)
Newsham, North Riding, Yorkshire (1901 census)
14 Dorset Street in West Hartlepool (1911 census)
44 Ashgrove Avenue, West Hartlepool (service records)

Religion: Church of England

Employment: Timber Merchant’s clerk (1911 census)
Saw Mill’s clerk (service records)

Family: Parents: Lettie Jones, John Jones
Stepfather: John Lowes
Siblings: Theophilus Jones, Charles H Jones, Annie Lowes (stepsister)

Military service:

Attested March 1916
18th Battalion DLI
Service number 18/1419

Medal(s): Victory Medal
British War Medal

Memorial(s): Arras Memorial
Book of Remembrance Fallen 1914-18, Hartlepool, Ref H115.30 Names H – L
Panels 1914-18 St. Aidan’s church, West Hartlepool, Ref: W111.09
Obelisk 1914-18 Victory Square West Hartlepool, Ref: W111.54
ROH Men of West Hartlepool 1914-18 pp 01-13, West Hartlepool, Ref: W111.86
Book of remembrance, Durham Cathedral. Ref: D47.01 3b April to June

Gender: Male

Contributed by Fiona Johnson

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