Rfn
Frederick Jones

Information about birth

Date of birth:
31/12/1885

General information

Profession:
Gardener

Army information

Country:
New Zealand
Force:
New Zealand Expeditionary Force
Rank:
Rifleman
Service number:
48964
Enlistment date:
27/01/1917
Enlistment place:
Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand
Units:
 —  New Zealand Rifle Brigade, 1st Bn.

Information about death

Date of death:
05/12/1917
Place of death:
Reutel, Beselare, Belgium
Cause of death:
Killed in action (K.I.A.)
Age:
31

Cemetery

Polygon Wood Cemetery
Plot: Unknown
Row: G
Grave: 20

Distinctions and medals 2

Points of interest 2

#1 Enlistment place
#2 ‘Place of death’

My story

Rifleman Frederick Jones
Frederick Jones was born in England to George Thomas Jones and Fanny Jones on 31 December 1885. It is unknown if he had siblings. His attestation form states that he came to New Zealand about 1911. Frederick shows on the 1914 Electoral Roll as a gardener in Christchurch.
In 1913 he married Margaret Robson, the couple having a daughter Margaret Elizabeth Ann Jones in 1916.
Frederick was still employed as a gardener when he enlisted on 27 January 1917 in Christchurch. He joined the 26th Reinforcement, service number 48964. He trained at Trentham and Featherston camps before departing Wellington on the troop ship Willochra on 9 June 1917, arriving in Devonport, England, on 16 August. As a Rifle Brigade recruit he went into Tidworth Camp, then on to Brocton Camp which had become the NZ Rifle Brigade training camp in England.
He sailed to France on 23 October 1917, spent a short period at Etaples and was posted to A Company, 1st Battalion New Zealand Rifle Brigade on 2 November 1917. Therefore he was not involved in the New Zealand Division fighting at Passchendaele.
The New Zealand Division was in the Polygon Wood area, after the end of the Third Battle of Ypres. Much of the time was spent in wiring, repairing crumbling trenches and improving defences. The landscape was covered with waterlogged shellholes. The opposing German forces generally held higher ground and movement in the New Zealand lines was often observed and shelled or machine-gunned.
The Division relieved the 21st Division from 13th November, when the 3rd (NZ Rifle Brigade) and 4th NZ Infantry Brigades took over the front line. On 1st December the NZ Rifle Brigade relieved the 4th Infantry Brigade in the Becelaere Sector, with the 1st Battalion ( Frederick’s unit) relieving the 3rd Otago Battalion. The brigade headquarters was at the Polygon Butte.
On 3 December part of 2nd Brigade attacked Polderhoek Chateau, with limited success and heavy casualties. The Rifle Brigade history does not offer much detail on this period so it is difficult to say how Frederick Jones died on 5 December 1917. There were heavy snow storms during the time.
Frederick Jones was buried in Polygon Wood Cemetery along with others of the NZ Rifle Brigade killed in this period. He is in Row G, Grave 20.

Sources 6

"The official history of the New Zealand Rifle Brigade (The Earl of Liverpool's Own)", Austin, WL., Wellington, L.T. Watkins, 1924, pg. 255-258.
Sources used
Ancestry
https://www.ancestry.co.uk
Sources used
Archives New Zealand
https://www.archway.archives.govt.nz/
Sources used
Auckland Cenotaph
http://www.aucklandmuseum.com/war-memorial/online-cenotaph/search
Sources used
CWGC
https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/480038/jones,-frederick/
Sources used
New Zealand births deaths marriages
https://www.bdmhistoricalrecords.dia.govt.nz
Sources used