One Hundred Years….
My granddad, Sapper 72094, Albert William Jones was just twenty years old at the outbreak of the First World War. He was a machinist in the locomotive industry in Irlam, Lancashire where he lived above his father’s post office and newsagents.
He volunteered, joining the 42nd Territorial Signal Company. A Pals Brigade. It was part of the 42nd East Lancashire Territorial Division. The first Territorial division ever to volunteer for foreign service and the first to leave England in the first naval convoy to leave these shores since the Napoleonic wars, on 9th September 1914.
He fought at Gallipoli, in the Dardanelles, Sinai, Palestine, and occupied Jerusalem, Damascus and Constantinople. He fought alongside Lawrence of Arabia, the Anzacs, and other Commonwealth troops from India and elsewhere. He returned home in 1919.
Albert William Jones was mentioned in despatches for gallantry as a result of brave action during the Battle of Armageddon in September 1918.
He went to Hell and, unlike so many others, came back.
He died in 1960. I never met him.
Lest we forget….