Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthFebruary 28, 1892
Place of BirthCockett, South Wales
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinFather: Thomas Jones of Swansea, South Wales
Trade / CallingFitter
Service Details
Regimental Number695
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion8th Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Address at EnlistmentKeewatin, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentAugust 9, 1914
Age at Enlistment22
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathJune 18, 1977
Age at Death85

Jones, William Wyndham

William Jones was among the first Kenora volunteers. His name was published on Aug. 12, 1914 as having enlisted in the 98th Regiment following a call for volunteers on Aug. 9.

Born in Wales to Thomas and Hannah Jones, both he and his brother Thomas immigrated to Canada in May 1913 and worked at the Lake of the Woods Milling Company plant in Keewatin. The brothers were the youngest of a family of five children – Sarah (1879), Mary (1882), Elizabeth (1886), William (1892) and Thomas (1889). Their father had worked as a woodsman for a local estate, but by the time they came to Canada he was listed as an invalid, living at home with his wife in Brynmill Cottage, Swansea, South Wales

Thomas was married with a young son and as an upholster worked in the bag making part of the flour mill. William was single, a pipe fitter by trade, and worked in the power plant.

After training at Valcartier, William shipped overseas with the 8th Battalion (Winnipeg Rifles) in October 1914, arriving in France in Feb. 1915. William was one of only a hundred or so of the original 1,100 men assigned to the battalion in 1914 to serve with the 8th Battalion through the entire war.

During his four years in France, William was wounded twice and fell ill three times, returning to his battalion after each period in hospital. In May 1915 he was gassed, recovering and returning to his unit in July. In March of 1916 he fell ill with trench fever (influenza) and spent six week in hospital. He was at a field hospital for several days in November 1917 suffering from stress from his time at the front lines during the battle of Passchendaele. In April 1918 he was admitted to a field hospital for five days suffering from a fever. Finally, in July of 1918 he suffered a gun shot wound to his left hand, returning to duty in October 1918.

William survived the war, however Thomas, who’d enlisted with the 94th battalion in 1916 when it was being raised in Kenora, was killed in action that October while serving with the 43rd Battalion.

In January 1918, William was granted permission to marry and wed Agnes Mary Cocks.

In the spring of 1919, William asked and was granted permission to be demobilized in England, allowing him to join Agnes at their home in Swansea, rather than return to Canada for demobilization and then return to Wales.

William returned to his work as a boiler man and pipe fitter and the couple resided at Rhyddings Park Road, a street filled with terraced row houses leading down to the sea in the Brynmill part of the city, for the next six decades, moving only once, from their original residence at 29 Rhyddings Park Road, to 96 Rhyddings Park Road.

The 1939 English national war registration suggests they had two children as two names on the register are blacked out. This was a common practice when the register was released for general public access in 2010 to protect the privacy of people presumed to be still living due to their age at the time the registry was taken.

Voter registration records for 1959 through 1964 record a Kathleen Agnes Jones living with William and Agnes at their home.

William passed away June 18, 1977 at his home and Agnes the following year on December 17, 1978.

By Bob Stewart

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