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John Jones was born on 15 August 1889, the son of George Jones and Annie Welsh or Walsh. In 1891, he was living with his family at Court 4, Stafford Street, together with his baby brother James.

He enlisted with the 6th Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment in 1909 (service number 57232), and later transferred to the Royal Field Artillery. During his three periods at the Front, he rose from being a Gunner to a Sergeant when he was demobilised in 1919. He was gassed and was sent to Shrewsbury Hospital, and later he suffered gunshot wounds to his left leg.

On 23 April 1917, whilst in Lens, John acted as company runner, making six journeys from his company commander to battalion headquarters through heavy artillery barrage. After his battalion was relieved he again went to the firing line to search for three missing men. His courage and selfless enthusiasm earned him the Military Medal, as confirmed in the London Gazette on 22 February 1918.

His contribution was also acknowledged on his return to England by Bilston Urban District Council. The following entry appears in the minutes of the Council meeting on 19 December 1918:

The Chairman in the presence of the members presented Lance-Corporal Jones of the 6th South Staffs., with the Military Medal for bravery and offered him the congratulations of the members.

Further details about his bravery appeared in an article in the Express & Star the following day, where his address is given as Free Street, Bilston (although in this article he is mistakenly referred to as “Private John Jones”). John married Maria Elizabeth Smith, and they went on to have four children – Doris (1920), Ivy (1922), Marjorie (1924) and Leslie (1926).