Tuesday, 25 December 2012

The Joneses who were smiths

As I've already said, nearly all my Joneses were smiths - blacksmiths - starting with my ggggrandfather Timothy, gggrandfather Richard (the first), ggrandfather Richard (the second), grandfather Pryce (was he an industrial blacksmith at Rolls-Royce?) and my uncle Ted (Thomas Edward) who was an industrial blacksmith with Jaguar.

There were others too, notably great great uncle James Jones (son of Richard l) who was the blacksmith at Llanbadarn Fynydd and who was a stalwart of the Particular Baptist chapel at Maesyrhelem. I've more information about him somewhere which I need to dig out.

Two of James' sons served in the Great War and their service papers survive; James' son Arthur James Jones joined up in November 1914 when he was 22 and was specially enlisted as a shoeing smith in the Army Service Corps and attached to the 8th Cavalry. He was promoted to Corporal farrier in 1915 and to Farrier Staff Sergeant  in 1916.

Richard Oliver Jones signed up in 1915, again especially enlisted as a shoeing smith and saw service in Iraq.

While it's exciting, reading through their service records, I've had no luck finding the papers of my grandfather Pryce and his brother Thomas who also served. Again they were shoeing smiths (or shoeboys as Dad said) but while Arthur, Oliver and Pryce came home, Thomas died in France. It's not easy to trace Joneses in the Great War but I think he's commemorated at Tyne Cot, having no known grave.

And while we're on tragic outcomes, I'll mention Richard lll. On a visit to Maesyrhelem I'd noticed a gravestone for a Richard Jones, late of Felindre, died 5 Dec 1912 aged 35 years. I wondered if this was a possible relative but Felindre is a few miles away; after checking censuses etc I realised that this was indeed Richard lll; he'd moved to Felindre and was the blacksmith there.

I'm starting an album entitled 'Family at War' and I hope to collect together the service records for as many of the family as possible; there's the four I've mentioned here; then at least two other members on the paternal side, James Lawton Woolley, George Willmore Woolley, maternal side: Ralph Oughton Brown, George Hick Brown, Jim Russell all World War One; then Arthur Jones, Elizabeth Stonehouse Russell (WW2) not forgetting great great uncle Richard Russell (served c1850-1880)

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