Second Lieutenant Harry Reynolds Jones

Harry Reynolds Jones was the youngest of four children born to William and Charlotte Jones who lived on Tattenhall Road. His father was a Coal Merchant in Tattenhall, the enumerator on the 1911 Census having also added ‘Publican’. Harry’s eldest brother William was a dental student, his sister Eliza an Assistant Book-keeper and his other brother Leslie was an Assistant in the family business. A receipt from the business dated December 1924 is shown below and is signed by ‘Leslie Jones’.

Receipt from the family business of William Jones located on Tattenhall Road at Canal Wharf. Harry Reynolds Jones was the youngest son of this local family who were an integral part of the village of Tattenhall.

Second Lieutenant Harry Reynolds Jones joined 80 Squadron of the Royal Flying Corps which was established at Thetford on 1 August 1917. On 17 November 1917, the Squadron moved south to Beverley and from there they were deployed to France. The Squadron was equipped with Sopwith Camel F1 fighters.

The type of aircraft flown by Harry Reynolds Jones

The pilots of 80 Squadron took off in two groups. The first 24 pilots departed for France on 25 January 1918. They flew via Hitchin, St Omer and Serny, arriving at Boisdinghem on 29 January. For the first 10 days, however, they were grounded by cold weather and persistent fog. Second Lieutenant Harry Reynolds Jones and the remaining 6 pilots of 80 Squadron were delayed with technical problems and they did not depart for France until 26-29 January 1918. We can presume, therefore, that by the end of January 1918, all 30 pilots of 80 Squadron were assembled in and around Boisdinghem but that action was suspended because of poor weather. 

On 2 March 1918 and as part of the general redeployment of forces in anticipation of a German offensive, 80 Squadron was moved to an airfied at Champien in the Somme. They shared the airfield with 73 and 79 Squadrons. Poor weather again hampered operations and the ground attack role was suspended in order to provide fighter support against German reconnaissance missions.

Operational area of French Front. Roye is shown in the centre of the map and it is in this location that Lieutenant Harry Reynolds Jones is buried.

On 17 March 1918 a major engagement took place during which 4 enemy Albatros DVs were shot down, 2 pilots from 80 Squadron were KIA (killed in action) and Lieutenant Harry Reynolds Jones was KIFA (killed in a flying accident) – likely to have been a crash. He was less than 8 weeks into his period of active service and he was just 19 years of age.

Second Lieutenant Harry Reynolds is remembered at Roye Cemetery (Somme), in St Alban’s Parish Church, Tattenhall (where an inscribed section of the oak organ screen contains both the Royal Flying Corps insignia and a dedication) and on the Tattenhall War Memorial. 

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