Regiment : B Company 1st/7th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment
Service number : 2581
Conflict : WW1
Date of death : 7th May 1915 aged 22
Buried : Calvaire (Essex) Military Cemetery, Belgium, Grave IV. A. 3.
Relatives : Son of Richard and Mary Jones, 4 Glebe Lane, Stourbridge, Worcestershire
Memorial : Stourbridge Old Swinford Hospital School
Also appears on : Stourbridge St John's School now in Stourbridge St John's Church. Stourbridge War Memorial.
Credits : Researched by the Black Country Society.
Additional information on the memorial: Worcestershire Regiment. Died of wounds 28 April 1915. Age 22.
Richard Jones was the first Stourbridge man from the Worcester Territorials to die in the Great War. He was the second son of Mr and Mrs Richard Jones of 4 Glebe Lane, Stourbridge. He had attended Old Swinford Hospital and was then apprenticed to John Hill, carpenter and joiner of Oldswinford. He had become Assistant Scoutmaster of the Wollaston Troop of Wollaston Baden Powell Scouts. Richard volunteered for the local Territorials at the first public recruiting meeting at the Town Hall after the outbreak of war. The 1st/7th Battalion was in one of the first Territorial divisions to go overseas on 31st March 1915. The troops crossed from Folkestone to Boulogne at night, for fear of German submarines, and were then transported to a reserve position behind the front line near Armentieres. Then followed two weeks of initiation into trench warfare until the battalion was given responsibility for a section of the line near Ploegsteert Wood. It was a quiet sector, although the heavy fighting near Ypres a few miles to the north could be heard. A quiet sector only meant the absence of major attacks. Patrols, shelling and sniping occurred frequently and casualties were soon inevitable. The pattern of duty was that four days were spent in the trenches, followed by four days in the reserve. On 7th May Private Richard Jones was killed by a sniper. He is also commemorated on St. Thomas’s church memorial.
Richard Jones was born on 14th June 1892. He entered Old Swinford Hospital on 17th June 1902 and left the school on 12th September 1906 when he was apprenticed to Jno. Hill, carpenter and joiner of Oldswinford.
Richard’s friends who witnessed his death told his mother that he was shot and killed instantly by a german sniper hiding in a haystack. When surrounded the sniper refused to surrender and was subsequently burned to death when the haystack was torched by the men of the 1st/7th Worcestershire Regiment.
Source for additional information: Old Foleyans Remembered Casualties of WW1 published by the Old Foleyans Association, October 1998. Book researched and transcribed by Sandra Taylor.