Alfred John JONES

JONES, Alfred John

Service Number: 5120
Enlisted: 1 November 1915
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 52nd Infantry Battalion
Born: Zeehan, Tasmania, Australia, 3 October 1894
Home Town: Beaconsfield, West Tamar, Tasmania
Schooling: State School, Tasmania, Australia
Occupation: Labourer
Died: Mg Wound Then Hit By Shell, Mouquet Farm, France, 4 September 1916, aged 21 years
Cemetery: Courcelette British Cemetery
Plot XI, Row F, Grave 11, Courcelette British Cemetery, Picardie, France
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour
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World War 1 Service

1 Nov 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, 5120, 12th Infantry Battalion
29 Mar 1916: Involvement Private, 5120, 12th Infantry Battalion, Battle for Pozières , --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '10' embarkation_place: Melbourne embarkation_ship: RMS Orontes embarkation_ship_number: '' public_note: ''
29 Mar 1916: Embarked Private, 5120, 12th Infantry Battalion, RMS Orontes, Melbourne
4 Sep 1916: Involvement Private, 5120, 52nd Infantry Battalion, Battle for Pozières , --- :awm_ww1_roll_of_honour_import: awm_service_number: 5120 awm_unit: 52nd Australian Infantry Battalion awm_rank: Private awm_died_date: 1916-09-04

Help us honour Alfred John Jones's service by contributing information, stories, and images so that they can be preserved for future generations.

Biography contributed by Faithe Jones

Son of George and Mary Ann Jones, of Beaconsfield, Tasmania. Native of Zeehan, Tasmania.

Biography contributed by Evan Evans

From François Berthout

Pte 5120 Alfred John Jones
52nd Australian Infantry Battalion,
D Company, 13th Brigade, 4th Australian Division
In the fields of poppies, the graves stand in silence under the rays of the sun which put in the light, the names of thousands of men who rest in peace in the serenity of the white and peaceful cities in which they stand young and proud, united in brotherhood, friendship and mateship in which they answered the call to duty and in which they fought, served and fell side by side in the trenches and battlefields of the great war on which they walk silently, invisible but present.Gone but not forgotten, we will always watch over these young men with love and loyalty, we will always honor their memory with the utmost respect and we will keep their stories alive so that their names, their courage and their sacrifices, their lives will never be forgotten.

Today, it is with all my heart, with the deepest gratitude and respect that I would like to honor the memory of one of these young men, one of my boys of the Somme who gave his today and his life for our tomorrow.I would like to pay a very respectful tribute to Private number 5120 Alfred John Jones who fought in the 52nd Australian Infantry Battalion, D Company, 13th Brigade, 4th Australian Division, and who was killed in action 105 years ago, on September 4, 1916 at the age of 21 on the Somme front.

Alfred John Jones was born on October 3, 1894 in Zeehan, Tasmania, Australia, and was the son of George and Mary Ann Jones, of Beaconsfield, Tasmania. Alfred was educated at State School, Tasmania and before the outbreak of the war, lived in Cornwall Street, Beaconsfield, and worked as a labourer.

Alfred enlisted on November 1, 1915 at Ross, Tasmania, in the 12th Australian Infantry Battalion, 16th Reinforcement, 3rd Brigade, 1st Australian Division, and after a four month training period he embarked with his unit from Melbourne, Victoria, on board RMS Orontes on March 29, 1916 and sailed for Egypt.

On April 25, 1916, Alfred arrived in Egypt and was disembarked at Suez then two months later, on June 7, embarked with his battalion from Alexandria, on board Huntspill and proceeded overseas for France.

After a week of a journey without inconvenience on the peaceful waters of the Mediterranean Sea, Alfred arrived in France and was disembarked in Marseilles on June 14, 1916 then joined the 4th Australian Base Divisional Base Depot and was transferred to the 52nd Australian Infantry Battalion on July 26 then taken on strength on July 27 and marched for Toutencourt, in the Somme on July 30 then from August 2 to 5, followed a period of training in Harponville, joined the town of Albert on August 6 then Tara Hill on August 13 and on August 14, occupied a trench called "Wire Trench" then bivouacked at "Brickfields (Albert) on August 16, joined Warloy-Baillon on August 18 and Bonneville on August 21 where Alfred and the men of the 52nd Battalion followed a period of tactical exercises (trench attacks, brigade attacks), then remained at rest until the end of August.

On September 1, 1916, Alfred and the 52nd Australian Infantry Battalion were sent to La Boisselle and the next day joined the front line trenches in front of Mouquet Farm but unfortunately, three days later, on September 4, 1916, Alfred met his fate.

On September 4, 1916, the 52nd Australian Infantry Battalion was ordered to attack Mouquet Farm and capture Fabeck Graben, but during the charge Alfred was hit by a machine gun bullet. Wounded but conscious, he was attempted to be saved and brought back to the Australian lines on the back of Private number 2939 Donald Hector Macrostie but were both hit by a shell which killed Alfred and injured Donald. At first, Alfred remained on the battlefield and his body was not found, he was declared missing on September 4, 1916 but a year later, on April 24, 1917, a commission of inquiry declared Alfred as "killed in action".However, years after the war, in 1921, Alfred's body was found, exhumed and buried with military honors and today rests in peace with his friends, comrades and brothers in arms at Courcelette British Cemetery, Somme, and his grave bears the following inscription "Far from the home of his childhood sleeping his last long sleep."

Alfred, you who were so young, it is with resolution that for Australia you answered the call to duty and walked alongside your friends to join the enlistment centers to do your duty and your part in the great war and a heavy heart, in a last embrace in the arms of your mother, your father, you left behind you the warmth and the love, the comfort of your home to join with confidence and pride the trenches of the Somme and have fought with determination for my country, for France which will be forever grateful to you and today, it is from the bottom of my heart, with love and respect that I would like to say thank you for all that you did and gave for us who are there thanks to you and who enjoy the peace for which you gave your today and your life in the mud and the fields of poppies which saw the courage of a whole generation of men and who, through the cemeteries and the battlefields, are the silent and eternal witnesses of the sacrifices and bravery of millions of men.In the mud, in the blood, under the screaming metal of thousands of shells falling at an unrelenting rate in whirlwinds of fire and powder, these young men stood with exceptional bravery despite death falling from the sky in the deafening thunder enemy artillery that tried to smash and bury a whole generation of young boys alive under tons of metal who amputated thousands of heroes in this apocalypse of fire and steel that turned once peaceful and flowering fields into fields of death on which thousands of wooden crosses rose up very quickly, the last traces of broken lives and taken too soon under the murderous fire of the machine guns who spit out lead and death, destruction at an incensed rate on waves of men who faced these deadly weapons by charging next to each other with their forward bayonets and were mown under the eyes of their friends.In this hell which was described as a butcher's shop, these men gave all they had and served with distinction and honor in the name of the peace for which, side by side, they stood with determination and went through the worst horrors of war,the darkest hours of history which were the bloodiest of the 20th century in one of the worst battles in history of the humanity in the fields of the Somme.In this endless nightmare, these young boys did not give up and never knelt under the weight, the burden of war which they dragged in blocks of thick mud under their shoes, they resisted and faced death, united in comradeship they never took a step back and despite terrible losses, despite the deaths of their friends, brothers and fathers, they moved forward to total victory and here in Amiens, in the Somme, we remember them with respect under the golden letters which were written in the schools "Do not forget Australia", we will never forget all that these men sacrificed and endured for us and I would always stand with respect, with admiration and gratitude in front of them, I would always watch over them as the keeper of their memory and their stories that I would tell and share with pride so that these men are not forgotten because behind every grave lies a man, a story, a destiny, a life lived but taken too soon but for whom I would speak to bring them back to life so that they live forever. Thank you so much Alfred,for everything. At the going down of the sun and in the morning,we will remember him,we will remember them.