Topic: William George Henry Jones

Topic type:

A soldier of the Great War who died of wounds received in the fighting around Cambrai .

Jones, W. G. H.

Corporal William George Henry Jones - 29264          

William, known as Henry, was born 10 August 1881, son of  George Henry and Ada Emma Jane. Before enlisting he was working as a labourer for W. H. Jackman at Leeston. He was a widower having married Elizabeth Guill in Dunedin on 24th April 1909 in a Salvation Army service. They had two children; Margaret Ada born 1910 and Myrtle Elizabeth born 1912. She died on 3rd March 1916 a few months before Henry enlisted. He had previous military experience with Ellesmere Mounted Rifles. He was 6ft tall with a dark complexion, grey eyes and dark brown hair.

Henry enlisted on 27th June 1916 and was assigned to 18th Reinforcements, Canterbury Infantry Battalion, C Company He was promoted to Lance Corporal in camp on 4th October 1916. He embarked on 11th October 1916 on board the SS Tofua from Wellington, disembarked at Plymouth 29th December 1916 and marched into Sling on the same day. As was usual he reverted to the rank of private at Sling. He marched out to Codford on 30th March 1917 where he was taken on the strength of the Canterbury Infantry Regiment and posted to 13th Company on 2nd April. He left for France on 28th May 1917. He was detached to the School of Instruction in the field on 26th August, re-joining the Battalion on 10th September. The following month on 24th October he was promoted to Lance Corporal and a month later to Corporal on 13 November.  He was wounded in action on 16 December, suffering a shrapnel wound to his left arm and taken by No 3 Field Ambulance to the No 10 Casualty Clearing Station and then on to the No 22 General Hospital at Camiers on 18th December. After spending Christmas in Hospital at Camiers he was evacuated to England on 29th December 1917 and transferred to the 2nd NZ General Hospital at Walton upon Thames on the same day.  On 2nd January 1918 he was sent to No 3 General Hospital at Codford and then on to convalesce at Hornchurch on 17 January. He was discharged to Codford on 8th February but given leave from 8th to 23 February, reporting to Codford on 23rd. On 16th April he marched back into Sling Camp and was attached to the strength. He left for France again on 14th May and marched into camp at Etaples on 17th May, joining the No 2 Entrenching Battalion in the field on 19th May. Whilst serving with them he was appointed temporary sergeant between 5th and 28th 1918. He was then transferred to the Canterbury Infantry Regiment, 2nd Battalion and posted to 13th Company. He was wounded in action on 5th October, suffering wounds to his abdomen and buttock. At this time the New Zealand Division was involved in an attack on the Hindenburg Line in the area around Bapaume and Cambrai. Sadly he died, aged 37, at No 29 Casualty clearing station on 22nd October 1918. He was buried in the Grevillers British Cemetery. In New Zealand Henry is remembered on the Leeston Plaque of the Ellesmere County War Memorial.

CWGC Cemetery locale history: The village of Grevillers was occupied by Commonwealth Troops on 14 March 1917 and in April and May, the 3rd, 29th and 3rd Australian Casualty Clearing Stations were posted nearby. They began the cemetery and continued to use it until March 1918, when Grevillers was lost to the Germans during their great advance. On the following 24 August, the New Zealand Division recaptured Grevillers and in September, the 34th, 49th and 56th Casualty Clearing Stations came to the village and used the cemetery again. After the armistice, 200 graves were brought in from the battlefields to the south of the village, 40 from an adjoining cemetery made during the German occupation. There are now 2,106 Commonwealth servicemen of the First World War buried or commemorated in Grevillers British Cemetery.  Within the cemetery stands the Grevillers (New Zealand) Memorial which commemorates almost 450 officers and men of the New Zealand Division who died in the defensive fighting in the area from March to August 1918, and in the advance to victory between 8 August and 11 November 1918, and who have no known grave. The cemetery and memorial were designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens.

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William George Henry Jones


First Names:William George Henry
Last Name:Jones
Date of Birth:10 August 1881
Place of Birth:Leeston
Date of Death:22 October 1918
Place of Death:France
Memorial or Cemetery:Grevillers British Cemetery
Age at death:36
User Name:Selwyn Library
Other names known by:Known as Henry
Occupation before enlisting:Labourer
Marital Status:Widower - wife Elizabeth Jones,
Regiment or Service:Canterbury Regiment, N.Z.E.F.
Enlistment details:27 June 1916
Parents or Next of Kin:Son of George Henry and Ada Emma Jane Jones, of Leeston, New Zealand; husband of the late Elizabeth Jones.
Service Number:29264
Rank last held:Corporal
Embarkation:11 October 1916
Place of Embarkation:Wellington
Transport:Tofua
Theatres of War:Western Front
Cause of Death:Died of wounds