Saturday, December 10, 2016

William John (Big Jack) Jones

badgeaifww1Serial Number and Rank:  2768, Private
Birth:  Milton 25 May 1899, Reg 1899/22661 Milton
Bap:  4 October 1906 St Peters and St Pauls Milton
Parents: John Jones and Esther Sarah Hapgood
Enlisted:  Holdsworthy 30 August 1915, was 16 years at the time but said he was 21 years old. Enlisted with his cousins Ambrose Jackson and Alton Cork
Next of Kin:  Fa. John Jones of Milton
Service: 19th Battalion, 6th Reinforcement and 3rd Battalion
RTA 1 July 1919 “Franfurt” with the 3rd Battalion, discharged 2 July 1919
Death:  1947, buried Toowoomba Cemetery Queensland
Marriage:  Elizabeth Ann Tierney
Honour Rolls:  Milton Church of England
RSL Honour Roll
Milton Town Memorial
Milton School as John Jones
Pre war service in the 87th Battalion Cadets.
Commended for the Military medal on 26 October 1918.
The medal was present to William in England 14 May 1919.
After the war he moved to Toowoomba Queensland
Photo: Courtsey of William’s Son, Bob Jones May 2010

William was commended for the Military medal on 26 October 1918, which was present to William in England 14 May 1919. On 11 August 1918 still with the 19th Battalion William showed distinguished service and great courage and bravery throughout the heaviest of fighting, continue to running messages between the battalion headquarters and the attacking troops, passing through the enemy artillery barrage and facing intense machine gun and rifle fire, with utter disregard for his person safety.

Big Jack stood a proud 5 feet 3 inches that’s 160cm, but he never let his height stop him, when he first tried to enlist into WW1 service he was rejected due to his height, but in August 1915 he was accepted and he had convinced recruiting that he was 21 years of age, when in fact, at enlistment he was 16 years old. He enlisted at Holdsworthy with his cousins Ambrose Jackson and Alton Cork.

William John Jones was born 25 May 1899 at Milton, the son of John Jones and his wife Esther Sarah nee Hapgood, growing up in Milton and attending Milton Public School and St Peters and St Pauls Church Milton and the Jones family lived at Crooybar Milton.

Big Jack was known as a bit of a larrikin around the town of Milton and before the war he was member of the 87th Battalion Cadets. On enlistment he served as a private with 2nd Division, 19th Battalion, 6th Reinforcement and embarked for overseas service in November 1915 aboard HMAT Euripides A14.

From April 1916, the midpoints of the Great War, the Australian units had begun to arrive in France. Australia’s official war correspondent Charles Bean wrote about the 19th Battalion in August 1916 during the Battle of Pozieres “is more densely sown with Australian sacrifice than any other place on earth.”

William was commended for the Military medal on 26 October 1918, which was present to William in England 14 May 1919. On 11 August 1918 still with the 19th Battalion William showed distinguished service and great courage and bravery throughout the heaviest of fighting, continue to running messages between the battalion headquarters and the attacking troops, passing through the enemy artillery barrage and facing intense machine gun and rifle fire, with utter disregard for his person safety.

Big Jack returned to Australia in July 1919 aboard the Franfurt  and a large welcome party was held for him at the School of Arts Milton (now the Town Hall Milton where the library is located) in October 1919. William married and eventually settled at Toowoomba Queensland.

His name appears on many Honour Rolls in the community:  RSL Honour Roll, Milton Church of England, Milton Town Memorial along with Milton School however his name where his name was  listed  as John Jones.

Wayne Matthews and David Wilson have produced an excellent record of the 19th Battalion’s achievements on the Western Front. The battalion was raised in Liverpool, NSW, in March 1915 as a result of the decision to raise a new division – the 2nd Division. The authors then trace the battalion’s various actions and battles in France and in Belgium including such well known places as Pozieres, Gueudecourt, Bullecourt, Broodseinde, Hangard Wood, Peronne, Mt St Quentin and the advance to the Hindenburg Line.

Apart from the Military Medal William also received the 1914/15 Star, the British War medal and Victory Medal. He received from the local community the gold medal, inscribed ‘Milton District War Service Medal.

 

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