Jones, J William J

James William Jackson Jones, Stoker 1st Class K/13545, Royal Navy HMS Indefatigable
Lost at sea 31st May 1916 in the Battle of Jutland, aged 23



James William Jackson Jones was born on 10 March and baptised on 15 August 1893 at St Barnabas Church, Grimsby, the son of Alice (nee Martin; born Barking, Essex) and William Jones, a labourer of 202 Burgess St, Grimsby.

On 24 April 1899 James and his younger brother Charles were enrolled at Central Market School, Grimsby, having previously attended Garden Street School. Their home address at this time was 45 Burgess St, Grimsby.

In 1901, eight-year-old James was living at 45 Upper Burgess St, Grimsby, with his mother and siblings Martin (14), Jessie (10), Charles (6), Frank (3) and George (1), his father being away at sea at the time.

It is not known why James was sent to Macclesfield but he entered Macclesfield Industrial School on 1st June 1905 and left in November 1908. His younger brother Charles Lionel Jackson Jones also attended the Industrial School; he left the school in 1911, enlisted in the 3rd Cheshire Regiment in Macclesfield in November 1912 (service number 9444), and served in the Great War with the Royal Field Artillery (service no 76849), as shown on the school’s Roll of Honour. In his service records, Charles names his parents, William and Alice Jones (of 100 Burgess St, Grimsby) and older brothers Martin and William (both serving with the Royal Navy) as his next of kin.

In the 1911 census, James was working as a farm labourer for William Trueman at Tetlow Fold Farm, Godley, Hyde.

James was later known by his second name, William.




James joined the Royal Navy with service number K/13545 on 29 December 1911 as William Jones, giving his date and place of birth as 10 March 1893, Grimsby. He was described in his service records as 5 feet 4 inches tall, with a 35½ inch chest, light brown hair, blue eyes, and a fresh complexion. He had four dots tattooed on his left wrist and three on the right. After four months of training, William served for ten months as a Stoker, Class I on HMS King Alfred, as shown on the Macclesfield Industrial School war memorial. William then underwent a further two months of training and was transferred to HMS Indefatigable on 12 April 1913, where he served during the war. His character was described as “very good” throughout his service.

William’s death was reported in the Macclesfield Courier on 5 August 1916:

A letter has been received at the Macclesfield Certified Industrial School stating that J W J Jones, who entered the school on June 1st 1905, and left in November, 1908, went down in the Jutland Battle.




William Jones has no known grave and is commemorated on Panel Ref. 16 of the Plymouth Naval Memorial. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for Stoker William Jones, and he is listed on the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website.

Locally, William Jones is commemorated on the Macclesfield Industrial School war memorial, but was erroneously named as J W I Jones, serving on HMS King Alfred. Elsewhere, he is commemorated in the War Memorial Chapel at Grimsby Minster (St James Church).



Brother of Charles Lionel Jackson Jones, who served as Private 76849 with the Royal Field Artillery; and Henry Edwin Martin Jones, who served as Able Seaman 227208 with the Royal Navy. Both survived the war.



GRO (England & Wales) Index: Births
Lincolnshire Parish Baptism Registers: St Barnabas Church, Grimsby
National School Admission Registers and Log-books: Central Market School, Grimsby
Census (England & Wales): 1901, 1911
WWI British Army Service Records 1914-1920
British Royal Navy Seamen 1899-1924 (Find My Past)
Commonwealth War Graves Commission website
Lives of the First World War website

Macclesfield Courier: 5 August 1916

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