No 37553, 2nd Battalion the Lancashire Fusiliers, killed in action on the 23rd May 1917.

Will was born in Newtown in 1897, the eldest son of Penelope and Walter Jones. By 1901, the family was living in Salford, where Walter was working in the mills as a twist drill grinder. Will’s mother, Penelope came from a Montgomery family, and her father, Thomas Henry Evans of Belle Vue, Arthur Street, was a carpenter and builder. It isn’t clear which house is Belle Vue as there is no longer a house of that name on Arthur Street.

Thomas Henry Evans is described as employing four men and a boy in the 1881 census. Penelope was the eldest of six children, five girls and one boy, who succeeded his father into the business. By 1911, tragedy had struck Will’s family, as his mother had died, leaving his father to raise not only Will and his brother, but two further children also. Will, by then aged 14, was working as a stores boy at an electrical engineers, and his younger brother, Walter, had been sent away to a boarding school near Guilsfield. On closer examination of the list of names at the school, most of the boys were from Salford or other towns in North West England, and it appears this school may have been a charitable institution for families who were struggling. By the time Will enlisted to fight in the war, both his parents had died and he was responsible for three younger siblings Private William Jones was killed in action on the 23rd May 1917, aged 20.

Will enlisted with the Lancashire Fusiliers in Salford. There are no records available which relate to his War service, but his regiment was involved with the Arras spring offensive, and it is likely that this is where Will lost his life. He is remembered on the Arras memorial, pictured above. The Arras Memorial commemorates almost 35,000 servicemen from the United Kingdom, South Africa and New Zealand who died in the Arras sector between the spring of 1916 and 7 August 1918, and have no known grave.