- Private William Gordon Jones
- Died Age 19 on 30/10/1918
- Lidzbark Warminski War Cemetery
Private William Gordon Jones was born on 14 February 1899 in
Rhayader in Montgomeryshire, Wales. Jones came from a family of
carpenters and as soon as he had finished school he joined his
father in the family business.
At the outbreak of the war Jones was just 15 years old. But just
over three years later, on 10 November 1917, he enlisted in the 3rd
Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers, based at Wrexham. He was not
married nor did he have any children.
In early March 1918 Jones was dispatched for France and, on 20
April, he joined the 1/6th Battalion Durham Light Infantry.
The Battalion spent its entire service in France with the 151st
Brigade of the 50th Northumbrian Division.
In 1918, they were involved in three major German spring
offensives, on the Somme, Lys and Aisne. At the end of May the
German Army launched an offensive on the Aisne that focused on
capturing the Chemin des Dames Ridge. The Third Battle of
the Aisne lasted from 27 May until 4 June 1918. It was the
final large-scale German attempt to win the war before the arrival
of the U.S. Army in France.
The Allied forces were unable to stop the German advance and the
attack succeeded in pushing the Allies across the Aisne and down
the Marne at Chateau Thierry. However, on 6 June, the German
advance halted on the Marne, following a series of Allied
counter-attacks, problems with supplies and reserves and
By 30 May, some 50, 000 Allied soldiers had been taken prisoner.
Four Durham Light Infantry battalions - the 5th, 6th, 8th and 22nd
- had ceased to exist.
In the midst of the battle Private Jones went missing and it was
not until the end of June that it became known that he too had been
Jones was taken to Heilsberg prisoner of war camp in Eastern
Prussia. While in captivity he was taken ill with Spanish Flu and,
on 30 October 1918, he died in the camp hospital.
He was posthumously awarded the British War Medal and Victory
Acknowledgements: Mrs Pauline Page-Jones.
- Frank Bernard Bower
- Died Age 19 on 29/10/1918
- Lidzbark Warminski War Cemetery
Frank Bernard Bower was born in Huddersfield where his father,
John Bower, worked on the local railway.
Frank grew up to follow in his father's footsteps, working as a
clerk in the goods department of the London and North West Railway
Company in Dewsbury.
Frank joined the army in April 1917 and was dispatched to France
a year later, just after his 19th birthday, to join the 22nd
Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers, stationed in the Houplines
sector, near Armentieres.
On 9 April the Germans launched an offensive on the British
lines here in what was to become known as the Battle of the Lys.
Frank, however, was destined never to see any action as on the same
day he was admitted to hospital suffering from a poisoned
He was taken prisoner when the hospital, probably a casualty
clearing station, was overrun by German forces.
Although his parents had received a letter from him dated 6
April 1918, saying he was in the trenches, the next they heard was
a report stating that he was missing "...as between April 11th and
A further letter came to them on 4 May from one of Frank's
comrades, giving them the news that Frank had been in hospital at
the time of the German offensive. Desperate for information, they
wrote to both this correspondent and to his commanding officer, but
without receiving any reply. It was not until early June that they
received a field postcard from him to say that he had been made a
prisoner and he was at Limburg on the Lahn in Germany.
In July Frank completed the will in his Army pay book, leaving
everything to his mother.
In mid-October Frank's parents received a letter from him (he was
now at Friedrichsfeld) to say that he was 'in the pink' (ie in good
Sometime between writing this letter and the end of October,
Frank was moved from Friedrichsfeld to Heilsberg Prisoner of War
camp, about 80 miles east of the city of Dantzig (now Gdansk). It
was here that on Tuesday 29 October, Private Frank Bernard Bower
died, aged just 19.
Acknowledgments: Information and images provided courtesy of