Rank: Driver 905203
Regiment or Ship: 1087 Battery 215th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery
Service Number(s): 905203
Occupation: Waggoner’s mate on farm (1911 census)
Date of Birth: 1895
Place of Birth: Crowhurst, Sussex
Date of Death: 19.07.1917
Place of Death: Mesopotamia Place of Burial / Memorials:
Baghdad North Gate War Cemetery.
Address: New Lodge, Hooe, Sussex (1911 census)
Photos and newspaper articles
Click on any image to see a larger version
Horace Jones b.1871 in Burwash Sussex. Occupation: Waggoner on Farm
Harriet Ellen Shelley b.1866 in Wartling, Sussex. They married in 1891.
Ernest G Jones b.1892 Battle Sussex. Occupation: Waggoner on farm.
Horace Jones b.1894 in Crowhurst Sussex. Occupation: Labourer on farm.
Lilian J Jones b.1898 in Etchingham Sussex
John J Jones b.1905 in Hooe, Sussex
Bertha E G Jones b.1907 in Hooe, Sussex
No record has been found of Harry Jones ever being married.
First World War Experience
No Army Records for Harry Jones, Service no. 905203, seem to have survived the bombing in the Second World War, so apart from the details (see below) from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s website, and some from Ancestry.co.uk (“Soldiers Died in the Great War”) we can know nothing of where he served and how he died.
From the “Commonwealth War Graves Commission” (CWGC) –
Nationality: United Kingdom
Regiment: Royal Field Artillery
Unit Text: 1087th Bty. 215 Bde.
Date of Death: 19/07/1917
Service No: 905203
Additional information: Son of Horace and Harriett E. Jones, of Beals Barn Farm, Cousley Wood, Wadhurst, Sussex. Born at Hooe, Battle, Sussex.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: XV. C. 3.
Cemetery: BAGHDAD (NORTH GATE) WAR CEMETERY
From “Soldiers Died in the Great War” (SDGW) –
JONES Harry, Driver, 905203, 1087 Battery, 215th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery (Mesopotamia) TF). Died in Mesopotamia 19 July 1917, aged 22. Son of Horace & Harriett Jones of Beals Barn Farm, Cousley Wood, Sussex. Born in Battle and enlisted in Hastings. Buried in Baghdad North Gate War Cemetery
All available resources claim Harry “died” – they don’t say “Killed in Action”. Research indicates that because of our need for oil, military action in Mesopotamia (now Iraq) was on-going from 1914 until the end of the war with no major campaigns between April and November 1917. This raises the question of how did he die.
Just like the conditions in Gallipoli, those in Mesopotamia defy description. There was the problem of very high day-time temperatures, commonly reaching 120 degrees F.(50 degrees C), Then, there was the problem of dry, arid desert which regularly flooded bringing infestations of flies, mosquitoes, and other vermin. The result of all this was terrible levels of sickness, followed by death through disease. Under these incredible conditions, units fell short of officers and men, and all too often the reinforcements were half-trained and ill-equipped. Medical arrangements were quite shocking, with wounded men spending up to two weeks on boats before reaching any kind of hospital. These factors, plus, of course, the unexpectedly determined Turkish resistance, contributed to high casualty rates.
But the most likely cause, in July, 1917, was disease and a check in “Statistics of the Military Effort of the British Empire” (published by HMSO, in 1920) reveals that, in July 1917, 31 officers and 532 other ranks, died of disease – this figure includes 48 Territorial soldiers, and 105 Native soldiers.
So, it seems reasonable to assume that Harry, also, died of disease.
Ancestry.co.uk (on-line), FreeBmd (on-line), “Bexhill Observer” and “Bexhill Chronicle” newspapers, Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s website, and “Soldiers Died in the Great War” (via Ancestry.co.uk).