All text and images © Helvellyn Consulting 2023
Percy Leonard Jones was born in Welshpool, Montgomeryshire in Wales in April 1896. His father John was himself a veteran of many military campaigns in Egypt and has his own page on this site. When Percy was born, John was possibly still in the army, leaving around 1900 and by 1901 was a gas furnace stoker and he and his wife Mary Ann already had four children, including John Seymour (born 1887), Bertram Ernest (1889), Elizabeth Jane (1892), and Pearl (1894). In 1900 another daughter arrived, Violet Moderina, followed by another son, Harold Frederick (in 1903), and another daughter, Roslia, in 1906.
In 2019 we were kindly sent a photo of Percy by the granddaughter of his brother John. We believe that whilst they were still living in Wales Percy followed in his father’s footsteps and joined the territorial army alongside his brother Bertram as the photo shows Percy and his brother Bertram in uniform wearing the cap badge of what we think are the South Wales Borderers. We know that John and Harold Frederick both joined up as boy soldiers before the first world war (see below).
At some point after the birth of Roslia, probably around 1910, John and Mary Ann moved their family to Glenridding where John started working at Greenside as a Lead Ore Roaster. By 1911 the family were living at 5 High Rake, with many of the boys also working at the mine including John Seymour, (as a horse driver below ground), Bertram Earnest (as a miner), and 15 year old Percy himself as a Lead Ore Cleaner.
Soon after War was declared Percy volunteered. We believe that he joined the the newly formed 11th (Lonsdale) Battalion of the Border Regiment. The 11th Battalion was universally known as the Lonsdales after Hugh Lowther, the 5th Earl of Lonsdale, who raised the unit in September 1914. Nearly all the men came from Cumberland and Westmorland and it was one of the many so-
It fought on the opening day of the Battle of Somme on 1st July 1916 and suffered over 500 casualties out of the 800 who went into action, including 23 out of the 26 officers, and including the commanding officer -
Unfortunately at the moment that is all the information we have found out about Percy. We do not know when or where he died, or if he ever married. We also do not know why his name was not included on the final Roll of Honour in the Glenridding Village Hall. His omission is perhaps even more surprising given that many of his family were still living in the Dale in the 1920s.
In terms of his parents, his father had by 1919 become a fireman. He eventually died after an eventful life in April 1947 at the age of 85. At the time he was living at 5 Newton Road Penrith with his daughter Violet, but he was buried at St Patricks in Patterdale. Percy’s mother Mary Ann, perhaps having raised 11 children, died in May 1920 at the age of 53 while the family were still living at 5 High Rake.
His eldest brother John Seymour married Anne Shaw in Patterdale in February 1911. You can read more about his story below. Percy’s other elder brother Bertram Earnest also stayed in the Dale, marrying Annie Chugg, sister of Ernest Chugg, in Patterdale Church on the 15th September 1919. They had a daughter, Edna, who sadly died aged just 10 days in August 1920. Bertram died on the 4th September 1944 at the age of 55 in Westmorland Sanatorium, but was buried at Patterdale. Bertram is another who deserves his own place on the Roll of Honour. We know from service records we’ve found that he joined the 4th South Wales Borderers as a boy soldier in April 1903 at the age of 14 and served until the end of 1907 and possibly longer, rising to the rank of Lance Corporal and we believe that he served with the Welch Regiment alongside his brother John Seymour.
Sergeant John Seymour Jones
Born April 1887 Welshpool. Died 27th September 1966
Son of John and Mary Ann Jones of Welshpool and 5 High Rake Glenridding
Husband of Anne Shaw 4 Low Rake Glenridding
Father of John, Bertram and Harold Jones
John Seymour Jones was born in Welshpool, Montgomeryshire in Wales in 1887, the eldest son of John Senior and his wife Mary Ann. When John was born his father was still a soldier, before leaving the army and becoming a gas furnace stoker from 1901 . We have detailed more of the early family life of the Jones’ in the story of John’s brother Percy above.
Thanks to his granddaughter Wendy we now know more about the life of John and his family. He served for 12 years before the war in the army in Wales and reached the rank of Drum Major. Based on the pictures we have seen this is likely to have been in the band of the South Wales Borderers. His younger brother Harold also served alongside him.
By 1911 the family had moved to Glenridding and were living at 5 High Rake, with many of the boys also working at the mine including John Seymour who was working as a horse driver below ground, and his brothers Bertram Earnest (as a miner), and 15 year old Percy as a Lead Ore Cleaner.
In February 1911 John Seymour married Annie Shaw in Patterdale. In the Parish register he is referred to as “Seymour”. John and Annie had at least three children in the Dale, John (Jack) (born in August 1911), Bertram George (Bert) (born January 1917) and Harold (born in April 1921 -
Thanks to his granddaughter Wendy we know that when the war ended John and his family moved to Newtown and lived for more than 40 years in Ladywell Street. There they had two more children, daughters Phyllis and Gwynneth. John became an expert on all things bird fancying related, having won his first success as a fancier aged 13. He won many cups and awards at leading shows across the country including at London’s Crystal Palace, Olympia and Earls Court.
John’s wife Anne died in 1964 and John himself passed away on the 27th September 1966 in Newton. His funeral was well attended by his family with his sons Jack and Bert living in Newtown as well as daughters Phyllis Blackburn and Gwynneth Shadbolt, who had moved to Shrewsbury.
We’re not sure what happened to Percy’s younger brother, Harold Frederick, although we do know he joined up alongside his elder brothers whilst the family were still living in Wales (see photo below), and was living in Welshpool at the time of his brother John’s death in 1966.
In terms of Percy’s sisters Elizabeth Jane was married in Patterdale on the 5th December 1917, to Ernest Waiting Winskel, a sapper in the Royal Engineers from Penrith. We believe that Roslia (or Rosalie) never married and died in December 1956 at the age of 51, whilst living at 386 Warwick Road Carlisle. She too was buried at St Patricks in Patterdale. Violet married Stephen Nicholson in 1920 in Carlisle and lived in Penrith until her death in 1986. Pearl married Georges Engels, a Belgian Diplomat in 1915, and her tragic story us told on a separate page of this site.
If you can add anything to the story of Percy or his family please contact us.
Bertram on the left and Percy on the right in the uniforms of the South Wales Borderers probably around 1910
Bertram Earnest’s Medal Card
John with his many trophies later in life and below during his service in WW1, in France on the left and India on the right
Above: John aged 22 (Top Row 3rd from left) and his younger brother Harold (1st Left Bottom Row) c.1910
Below: John aged 16 -
The Jones Family
The Jones family moved to Glenridding like so many others to work at Greenside mine. They brought with them a strong military tradition, starting with father John’s 20 years service in Queen Victoria’s reign, including 10 years in Egypt where he took part in the battles of Tel-
Private Percy Leonard Jones
South Wales Borderers 15334 11th (Lonsdale) Battalion of the Border Regiment, South Wales Borderers
615029 Labour Corps