30602 Private Sidney James Jones, 3rd Battalion Northamptonshire Regiment, later 29th Battalion Middlesex Regiment and 179884 Labour Corps
Born on 28th April 1887 in Ringshall
Died on 3rd March 1969 in Little Gaddesden
Sidney James Jones was born in Ringshall, Buckinghamshire, the youngest of the five children of James Jones and Arabella née Jones. He was baptised at St Peter and St Paul’s Church, Little Gaddesden on 12th June 1887.
His siblings were:
- Robert, born in 1872
- Wallace, born in 1875
- Henrietta, born in 1877
- Gertrude, born in 1879
The 1891 Census shows Sidney’s family living at 16 Ringshall. 3 year old Sidney was at home with his parents James, 42, a Carpenter and Arabella, 43. Also at home were his siblings Robert, 18, a Plumber, Wallace, 16, an Agricultural Labourer and Henrietta, 14 and Gertrude, 11, who were both at school.
The Little Gaddesden School Log Book records that, on 20th April 1891, Sidney Jones of Ringshall started school aged almost 4 years. George Liberty of Hudnall started school the same day.
It was usual for some of the older boys to take time off school for work, especially farm work, but they needed to pass their Labour Certificate first to be allowed to do this. On 4th August 1899, when Sidney, aged 12, was too young to leave school without a Certificate, an entry in the School Log Book reads:
I hear several children who have not a Certificate have gone for a holiday. I had a letter from the father of Sydney Jones to know if he could go to work. I told him the rules; the boy is away at harvest work I believe.
Leaving School 5
13 year old Sidney left from Standard 6 at Little Gaddesden School on 30th April 1900 with a Certificate of Attendance.
In the 1901 Census, 13 year old Sidney was living at 20 Ringshall with his parents. That was the same cottage which had been numbered 16 Ringshall in 1891. He had left school, but no occupation is recorded for him.
The 1911 Census shows 23 Sidney still at home with his parents. Both he and his father are Carpenters on the Ashridge Estate.
Military Service 6
Sidney James Jones of 20 Ringshall attested at Berkhamsted on 28th February 1916 to serve for the duration of the War. He was a Carpenter, aged 28 years 10 months; he was 5 feet 10 inches tall with a 36 inch chest. However, he was initially posted to the Army Reserve.
On 24th October 1916, Sidney James Jones married Annie Hoar in the Church of St Peter and St Paul, Little Gaddesden. Sidney was a 29 year old Carpenter of 20 Ringshall. Annie, 30, was the daughter of Edward Hoar, who farmed Hudnall Farm. She was the sister of Edward Hoar, George Hoar and Richard Hoar.
On 27th October 1916, three days after his marriage, Sidney was mobilised and appointed to the Northamptonshire Regiment. He then served in the 3rd Battalion as a Private, Service Number 30602, until 11th February 1917. This was a depot/ training unit based at Gillingham, Kent. His neighbour Arthur Lunnon from 33 Ringshall was already serving in that Battalion.
On 12th February 1917, Sidney was transferred to the 29th Infantry Works Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment which, in April 1917 became the 5th Labour Battalion of the Labour Corps. Sidney then served as a Private, Service Number 179884, in the following Labour Corps units:
- 28th April 1917 – 17th December 1917 – 337th (Home Service) Labour Company
- 18th December 1917 – 15th January 1918 – Eastern Command Labour Centre
- 16th January 1918 – 18th June 1918 – 363rd Reserve Employment Company
Honest, Sober and Industrious 6
Sidney was engaged in Home Service from mobilisation on 27th October 1916 until 18th June 1918, when he was discharged under King’s Regulations, Paragraph 392 (xvi), no longer physically fit for War Service. He was then granted a weekly allowance of 5 shillings and 6 pence for 31 weeks. His character was reported as “honest, sober, and industrious”. He had suffered partial amputation of the left fore and little fingers as the result of two separate accidents and his Service Record notes:
He states that (in March 1916 at home) he was moving some coal when a large lump fell and severely injured his left hand as a result of which a portion of his left little finger was amputated. The accident to his left forefinger was in 1915. Both accidents were in civil life.
His discharge papers note that he was 5 feet 10 inches tall with a fair complexion, hazel eyes and dark brown hair. His intended place of residence was with his wife’s family at Hudnall Farm.
Sidney and Annie’s daughter Annie (Nancy) Jones was born on 25th December 1918.
Men who have answered their country’s call in defence of a “Scrap of Paper” 7
Sidney Jones is named on the Roll of Honour, which hangs in St Peter & St Paul’s Church, Little Gaddesden and lists 119 men from Little Gaddesden, Ringshall and Hudnall who served in the 1914 – 1918 War. On the original Roll, he has no regiment is listed. However, on the Centenary Revision of the Roll, his unit is recorded as 3rd Battalion, Northamptonshire Regiment, which is the unit in which he first served. Also named on the Roll of Honour are 4 of Sidney’s brothers-in-law. These are: his wife Annie’s brothers Edward Hoar, George Hoar and Richard Hoar and Horace Ruffett who, on 8th January 1919, married his wife’s sister Lily Hoar.
Rolls of Honour photos: Jane Dickson, Michael Carver
Electoral Registers for 1919 and 1920 show Sidney at his wife’s parents’ address: Hudnall Farm. However, by 1925, he and Annie had returned to 20 Ringshall, where he remained until after his wife Annie’s death in November 1957.
The 1939 Register 4
In the 1939 Register, Sidney, Annie and Nancy are at 20 Ringshall. Sidney is a Carpenter, Annie has “Unpaid Domestic Duties” and Nancy is a Laundry Hand, probably at Donald Goodman’s laundry just down the road at 14 Ringshall.
In mid-May 1940, Sidney volunteered for the Local Defence Force, which later became the Home Guard. He is named on PC Parker’s original list of volunteers, which shows the group divided into four sections. He was in No 1 Section, based in Ringshall. Men from Little Gaddesden, Ringshall, Hudnall and Great Gaddesden all served in No 5 Platoon, part of the Berkhamsted Company (No 7, later B Company) of the 7th Hertfordshire Battalion.
Jubal Jones 11
Corporal Sidney “Jubal” Jones is included in the 1942 Home Guard photograph shown below. Known locally as Jubal Jones, it is believed that the reason for this was that he was born in the year of Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee.
Little Gaddesden First World War veterans also identified on this photo are:
- Back Row, L to R: 4. John (Jack) Mayling; 5. Reginald Purton
- 3rd Row: L to R: 2. Harry Hucklesby
- 2nd Row: L to R: 6. James Gray, Platoon Commander and father of Duncan Gray; 7. Horace Halsey; 8 Walter Bunn, 9. Joe Hing.
- Front Row: 12. Arthur Maunders
Other veterans known to have served in the Home Guard were: Albert Boarder, Donald Goodman, William Newman (father of Billy Newman), Edwin Purton, Frank Rogers and Edward Saunders. The Battalion’s Adjutant and Quartermaster in 1941 was William O’Kelly.
Younger members of the Home Guard, most of whom were subsequently called up for military service included: George Halsey, son of Horace Halsey; Leonard Hing son of Lewis Hing; Raymond Hing, son of Joe Hing; Fred Hucklesby, son of Harry Hucklesby; Fred Liberty, son of George Liberty; John Oakins son of Steve Oakins; Gordon and Maurice Purton sons of Reginald Purton and Arthur Whitman son of James Whitman and named after his uncle Arthur Whitman.
By the time of his death on 3rd March 1969, Sidney’s address was 1 Chapel Close, Hudnall, where he lived with his daughter Nancy and her family. 81 year old Sidney James Jones was buried at St Peter and St Paul’s Church, Little Gaddesden on 7th March 1969; the service at the grave was conducted by the Methodist Minister.
2. Little Gaddesden Baptism Register 1813 – 1947
5. Little Gaddesden School Log Books 1887 – 1906
7. Little Gaddesden Marriage Register 1916
11. Leonhardt, John (ed), 2002, A Century Remembered – a celebration of the Millennium in Little Gaddesden, Rural Heritage Society of Little Gaddesden, Ringshall and Ashridge
12. Police Constable Parker’s list of Little Gaddesden’s Local Defence Force Volunteers, compiled in May 1940
13. ed. Brock, Capt. Alan St H, (1945?) 7th Hertfordshire Battalion Home Guard. A History of the Battalion 1940-44
15. Little Gaddesden Burial Register
Research, text and (unless otherwise credited) photos: Jane Dickson