The real missing of the Great War

The Great War Archive has attracted a considerable number of artifacts and stories from all over the country. Contributors are registering a memorial for those involved in that terrible conflict, either at home or abroad, in uniform or as civilians. Many stories are very poignant, concerning the death of a loved one whose name is now recorded as ‘Missing in Action’ on the Menin Gate, the Thiepval Memorial, or in Commonwealth War Graves the world over. However, thanks to one very recent submission, we will be able to record one man whose name does not appear on any memorial.

William Robert Jones (front row, far right) was born on the 2nd January 1887, in the Rhondda valley to a mining family. He himself was a miner in 1913 when he married Amy Anne Williams. He was a musician and enlisted in 1916 joining the 32nd Bn Royal Fusiliers where he served as a bandsman and stretcher bearer, In 1918, because of the many casualties suffered during the German offensives, William was attached to the 10th Royal West Surreys
(“The Queen’s”) and was reported missing on the 22nd March 1918. He was 31 years of age. In many ways his story would be unremarkable, just another casualty of the Great War, but William’s story does not end there. Because he was new to The Queen’s, his paperwork had not been processed and thus his death was never recorded. Consequently, at present no memorial to him exists. The Commonwealth Graves Commission are now in contact with the Home Office, and enquiries are ongoing,
 but at present the only memorial to William Jones is Oxford University’s Great War Archive. The items were submitted by David Evans of South Wales.

To read about other interesting items submitted to the Great War Archive visit the Editor's Pick Blog.

No comments: