681745 A/QMS William Valentine Jones, MM, R.F.A.
William Valentine Jones was born on 19 September 1892 in Aintree, Liverpool, and baptised at Liverpool St Peter on 4 October. His father was William Jones (b. 1863 in Liverpool),, a grocery dealer. His mother was Mary Ann Cryer (b. 1865 in Liverpool). William and Mary Ann were married in 1890 and they had four sons: Richard (b. 1890), then William, then Albert (b. 1894) and Frederick (b. 1901). In 1911, the family was living at 7 Chevin Road, Aintree. William jnr was working as a railway clerk. The following year, he married Esther Eleanor Caine and the couple had two children: Catherine (b. 1915) and William (b 1917).
William joined the Territorials soon after the outbreak of War and was initially assigned service number 547. Given the pattern of recruitment, I would have expected him to be attached to “D” Battery of 276 Brigade, along with other men from Liverpool who enlisted at the same time. But his records show that he did not go with them to France in 1915. Perhaps he was held back because of his young family. In 1917, William got his new service number, 681745, and at some point he was promoted to Bombardier. I can’t be certain but my guess is that he was posted to D/286 and landed in France in 1917. His Military Medal was announced in the London Gazette in October 1917, so it was probably awarded for bravery during the defence of Armentières in the spring and summer of that year. William was subsequently promoted again, to Acting Quarter Master Sergeant.
William survived the War and returned to live at Canon Road, Aintree, where he worked as a builders’ labourer. He and Esther had no more children and William died in 1950, aged 57.