Private 2504 Harry Dunkinfield Jones

Jones, Harry Dunkinfield Private 2504, C Company, 1st Battalion Honourable Artillery Company, Killed in action on the 16th of June 1915

He was born at Sao Paulo in Brazil on the 11th of April 1890 the youngest son of Edward Dunkinfield Jones and Bertha

Private Harry Dunkinfield Jones

(nee Gaskell) Jones of "Castro", Reigate in Surrey. He came to England when he was 12 years old and attended Liverpool College Preparatory School. He was then educated at Lancing College where he was in Heads House from September 1904 to July 1906. From an early age he devoted himself to music and decided to make it his profession, choosing the piano as an instrument. For about four years he worked in the Leschetizky method under Mr George Magrath. Early in 1912 he went to Vienna and studied under Frau Bree, with occasional lesson from Leschetizky himself. On returning to England in 1913 he continued his studies under Mr Howard Jones at the Royal College of Music, taking singing as his second discipline.

Following the outbreak of war he enlisted as a Private in the Honourable Artillery Company on the 13th of October 1914 and went to France on the 26th of December with a draft of reinforcements for the 1st Battalion. He was killed at Hooge. His comrade and fellow OL, Theodore Fowler, wrote from his hospital bed at the London County War Hospital, Epsom to the Lancing College Magazine. :-

Dear Sir

"I thought it might interest Old Lancing boys to know how Private H.D. Jones, H.A.C. , died. He was in my section the seven months he was at the front. He met his death on June 16th at Hooge, part of the Ypres salient. The H.A.C. was in support and we had to charge he parapet. The Germans put a machine gun on us and amongst others, Jones was killed. no better sportsman of cheerier companion one could wish for. Always willing to do his share, he was one of the most popular men in the regiment. He was buried at the back of the trench."

Yours truly

T.H. Fowler OL. Corporal H.A.C.

PS-I am at the above having to be operated on, after being wounded for the third time." 

Theodore Fowler also wrote to Bertha Jones, Harry's mother:-

"I am sure I need make no apologies for writing this letter to express my deepest sorrow at the loss of your son. Since last October I have been in the same section and for the last four months I have been his section commander. I was next to him when he was killed. The only consolation is (I know a small one it is) that he did not suffer, death being instantaneous. I cannot possibly explain to you how we all admired and loved him. During these six months he was absolutely splendid; he never complained and did more than his share. As you must know we have been through terrible hardships. He bore them all so cheerfully and met his death doing his duty to the last.

It seems so sad as he was hoping to go home with his commission. Our section was terribly cut up. I do think he was happy out here, we all pulled together so well and he was always good tempered and big hearted. The whole regiment was so fond of him. I feel it terribly as I shall always reckon him one of my staunchest friends. We were both at Lancing College, though I was senior to him."

His Company Commander, Captain Ernest Boyle wrote the following:-

"To my infinite regret I read that you son in my company had fallen on the 16th. No doubt you have heard such particulars as could be given to you. I was hit earlier in the day, shot through the lung, and left the field about mid-day, so I know nothing of how your son was actually hit.

He was one of the very best men on the Company and I know he died nobly. He has given all he had , freely and ungrudgingly, for his country, and you have joined in the sacrifice. In your sorrow today your consolation is to be found in that.

I had hoped your son would long since have got a commission. It was no fault of mine that he did not."

2nd Lieutenant W.A. Stone wrote:- 

"I deeply regret to inform you that your son H.D. Jones was killed in action on the 16th instant at about 4am. We were taking part in an attack. Our Company had just advanced into the front German trench which had been taken, and as we were reversing the parapet your son got a bullet through his mouth, instantaneously killing him. I think it was from a machine gun they turned on to us.

I know this will be a terrible shock to you as you were hoping to see him home soon with a commission. I am terribly sorry to lose him as he was such a good fellow and always so cheerful. He was always ready to do anything that was wanted and to do it well.

He was one of many others I am afraid whom we lost on that day and the following day. We buried him behind the trench without any chance of proper ceremony, as we had great difficulty in getting the wounded away. However he died a soldiers death. I will try and find out where the spot was as the part  of the line was quite new to us; all I can say is that it was a little to the west of the Chateau at Hooge."       

He is commemorated on the Menin Gate Panel 9

With kind permission of John Hamblin