Richard Jones was the first Stourbridge man from the Worcester Territorials to die in the Great War. He was the second son of Mr and Mrs Richard Jones of 4 Glebe Lane, Stourbridge, and was aged 22. He had attended Old Swinford Hospital and was then apprenticed to John Hill, carpenter and joiner of Oldswinford. He had become Assistant Scoutmaster of the Wollaston Troop of Wollaston Baden Powell Scouts. He volunteered for the local Territorials at the first public recruiting meeting at Stourbridge Town Hall after the outbreak of war. The 1/7th Battalion was in the 46th (South Midland) Division. one of the first Territorial divisions to go overseas. On 31st March 1915 the troops crossed from Folkestone to Boulogne at night, for fear of German submarines, and were then transported to a reserve position behind the front line near Armentičres. Then followed two weeks of initiation into trench warfare until the battalion was given responsibility for a section of the line near Ploegsteert Wood. It was a quiet sector, although the heavy fighting near Ypres a few miles to the north could be heard. A quiet sector only meant the absence of major attacks. Patrols, shelling and sniping occurred frequently and casualties were soon inevitable. The pattern of duty was that four days were spent in the trenches, followed by four days in the reserve. On 7th May Private Richard Jones who was in B Company was killed by a sniper. He was 22 years of age and is buried in Calvaire Cemetery, Ploegsteert (IV A 3) and commemorated on the Stourbridge, St. Thomas's church, Oldswinford church and Old Swinford Hospital Memorials.
Market Street, Stourbridge, West Midlands, DY8 1AQ
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