THE SAD STORY OF TWO BROTHERS FROM CABLE ROAD
THOMAS FREDERICK JONES – Died 16th June 1915
JOHN REGINALD JONES – Died 23rd November 1915
Thomas Frederick Jones and John Reginald Jones were brothers who lived at 57 Cable Road, Hoylake and worshipped at St. Luke’s, together with their parents, Thomas Arrowsmith Jones and Edith Laura Jones, but neither of the brothers would survive the hostilities.
Thomas, the elder brother, was a Sergeant with the 1st/10th Liverpool Scottish/The King’s (Liverpool) Regiment. Mobilised at the outset of war, the Liverpool Scottish moved to France in early November 1914, one of the first Territorial battalions to do so. At this stage of the war, officers still carried swords on active service…. but not for long!
The first major battalion action of the Liverpool Scottish was on 16th June 1915 in what is officially known as ‘The First Action at Bellewaarde’ which was designed to pin down German reserves whilst there were British and French attacks elsewhere. This action is also known as ‘The Battle of Hooge’, which is a village is a few miles east of Ypres, straddling the Menin Road. The photo (left), which purports to be from the Battle of Hooge, shows the flag or marker intended to signal to the artillery that the line had been secured.
On that fateful day, the Battalion moved off into the attack uphill towards Bellewaarde Farm at a strength of 23 Officers and 519 Other Ranks (ORs). By evening, there were just 2 Officers and 140 ORs unscathed. There were 4 Officers and 75 ORs killed, 6 Officers and 108 ORs missing (of whom almost all were later reported killed) and 11 Officers and 201 ORs wounded.
Sadly, Thomas Jones was among the fatalities on 16th June 1915, aged 26. He is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial.
Prior to his enlistment in September 1914, younger brother John was employed as an accountant by the London City & Midland Banking Company at the Laird Street (Birkenhead) branch. John became a Gunner with the 39th Siege Battery, Lancashire & Cheshire Royal Garrison Artillery and after a period of training, he sailed from Southampton to France on 1st November 1915.
However, while on his way to the Front, he became ill on 9th November and taken to the Casualty Station, where he had an appendix operation the following day. He appeared to be recovering from the operation, but on 23rd November 1915, he collapsed from heart failure and died.
He is commemorated at the Hazebrouck Communal Cemetery in Northern France.