Private George Herbert Jones 15/530

Private George Herbert Jones

Born. Irlam, Manchester, 16th March 1890.
Died. Birmingham, 1963.

George Herbert Jones was born at 172,Liverpool road Irlam, Manchester, the son of William and Alice May Jones (Nee Barth). George had two younger brothers and an elder and younger sister all born in a period of seven years or so. George was born a Lancastrian because his father, a construction worker (Navvy) on Britains canal network was working on the Manchester Ship Canal. Later the family moved to Hull and then Ilford and London. His education included matriculation as a thirteen-year-old at Ilford before the family finally settled in Leeds around 1905 at this time George was apprenticed as a draughtsman with Kitson and Co, in their Hunslet locomotive works. On the outbreak of War he Volunteered with several temperance friends to serve with the Leeds Pals, His enlistment date was 11th September 1914.

He served with the Pals at Colsterdale, Egypt and France, “we hardly moved for nearly 18 months in the trenches”. After the 1st July 1916 battle on the Somme, his memories were “mud, blood, terrible noise and cold” and surprised at being “spared”. On the 22 December 1916 his engineering background caught up with him when he was transferred to the Army Ordnance Corps at Woolwich Arsenal and after further training and promotion to Staff Sergeant was sent back to the Battlefields of France in March 1917 where he stayed until the war ended, he was demobilised on 17/4/1919, unable to find engineering work in Leeds he gained a position with Noble and Lund a Gateshead machine tool manufacturer, then in 1920 after marrying is sweetheart Eleanor and moving back to Leeds, he acquired a short term position as transmission design engineer at David Brown tractors of Huddersfield, commuting to Huddersfield on a Barr & Stroud sleeve valve engined motorcycle.

A year later son Roland was born, Sadly Roland died of pneumonia six months later. George's job became more permanent and he was taken under the wing of Gregory, Tuplin and Spurrier, the design team of David Brown. In 1929 Mr. Gregory left David Brown to join Moss Gears in Birmingham and asked George to join him, which he did for a few shillings extra per week, there he became a very well known Gearbox & transmission specialist and had a dozen patents to his name, which involved designs for tram, loco and tractor transmissions.

In 1930 his son Desmond was born, sadly in 1936 he also died of pneumonia! And his third son Raymond born 1939 also died in infancy.

In later years George declined the offer to join the British Legion. He was never heard to swear, seen to drink or smoke! And never talked of the Great War. At his funeral in Water Orton, his home for thirty three years, a close friend and neighbour referring to the 2nd World War said :George was lucky never to have seen any war service, because of his reserved occupation! It was Eleanor who pointed out he was too old for a second stint in another World War.

He died aged 73 in 1963, Eleanor passed away a many years later, shortly before her ninety fifth! birthday.

With special thanks to son Ronald and daughter Heather for donating family photographs and back ground information.

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