Harold Victor's Story.
Harold Victor Jones was born on 24 May and baptised on 18 July 1897 at St Michael's Church, Macclesfield, the son of Rose Ellen and Robert William Jones, a plumber of 32 Vincent Street, Macclesfield. In 1901 Harold was living at the same address with his parents and one-year-old sister Alice.
By 1911 the family had moved to 40 Mill Lane and included another child, Lily, then aged 7.
The family later lived at "The Ferns", 51 James St, Macclesfield.
Harold enlisted in Macclesfield on 30 November 1916, first joining the Royal Army Service Corps with service number M/272611. He was later transferred to the Sherwood Foresters with service number 71879.
The Macclesfield Times reported on 10 January 1919 that Harold had been killed:
KILLED - Letters which Mr and Mrs R Jones, of Macclesfield, have received, leave no doubt as to the fate of their son, Pte H V Jones, in France. Wounded in the front line trenches, he was on his way with others to the dressing station when the party was fired on and all killed.
Pte Jones, who in civil life was a plumber in James Street with his father, joined the Sherwood Foresters two years ago. He had served in France and Italy, returning to the Western Front in September and being killed the following month, about a fortnight after his arrival. He joined up on November 30th, 1916, and spent seven months in France before going to Italy, where he remained ten months.
Twenty-one years of age, and an only son, Pte Harold Victor Jones was very popular in Macclesfield, and much sympathy is felt with the parents in their sad bereavement. He was educated at St George's School... and attended the church, being a member of the choir. Mr and Mrs Jones, who reside at 51 James Street, Macclesfield, did not hear anything definite about their son for eight weeks, and although he was killed on October 7th the official confirmation of his death has only just been received.
Lieut A Murchie writes: "Harold was wounded in the arm near Gousencourt Farm. He was last seen by any of our own men going out of the line to the nearest dressing station. The next information we had was from the 50th Division, who informed us that they had buried your son in the British cemetery close to Gousencourt Farm. Apparently a shell had burst on top of several men who were in the same party as Harold, and they were all killed. Harold was well-known and liked among his pals. I myself had known him for some time. I had his training as a signaller and admired him immensely. He was one of the finest and nicest fellows I have ever had under me."
Private Jones is buried at Guizancourt Farm Cemetery, France, in grave ref. C. 6. His mother asked for the inscription THY WILL BE DONE to be added to his headstone.
In Macclesfield, Private Harold Jones is commemorated on the Park Green, Town Hall, St Michael’s Church and St George's Church war memorials, and St John's Church and the Macclesfield Ancient Order of Foresters rolls of honour.
GRO (England & Wales) Index: Births
Cheshire Parish Baptism Registers: St Michael’s Church, Macclesfield
Census (England & Wales): 1901, 1911
Soldiers Died in the Great War (Find My Past)
WWI British Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects (Ancestry)
Commonwealth War Graves Commission website
Lives of the First World War website
Macclesfield Times: 10 January 1919
Research by Rosie Rowley, Macclesfield.