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I am new here.

I am wondering if anyone can tell me how to get a photograph of my Great uncle.

He died in France , but although I have the details of his place of burial, I have no longer any family that have a picture of him.

Also he was awarded the MERITORIAL MEDAL, Again I know nothing about this. Is it for gallantry? or what and how can I find out why he was given this along with the other medals. Again I don't have these. Family members are now all passed away.

Thank you.

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Welcome to the forum!

If you can give us his name and any other details you have, people will be pleased to help you find out more. The place to start your own research is here: http://www.1914-1918.net/soldiers/research.html

Photographs are very 'hit and miss' (with much more miss that hit!). You may be lucky. I think there are far more photographs out there without a name than where the soldiers in them are identified. You might be lucky and find him here: http://www.ww1photos.com.

Ref the medal - if you mean the 'MM', then that's the Military Medal and, yes, it will have been for bravery. If you mean the Meritorious Service Medal, that's more usually for being a jolly good chap over a period.

Let us have some detail and we'll be glad to help.


Have you looked him up yet on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website?


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Bob Thank you.

I know my Great Uncle was mentioned in dispatches.

He [bless him] was

Aaron Jones from Bangor North Wales.

number 310210.

He is buried in France near Thiant.

His brother was Ebenezer Jones 1449C. he was Killed in action in 1916 on board THE INVINCIBLE at the Battle of Jutland.

I have a picture of him Both brothers were remembered in a remembrance book given to families in Bangor.

But Aaron 's picture was not in.

Probably due to the fact that he died just 12 days before end of the war. My Great Grandparents were very poor and upset. so sadly no pictiure of Aaron.

I have and always will be remembering them both at our cenotaph, on behalf of my family.

Sadly there isn't any other s to be there with me.

Thank you for any help you may give to me.


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OK then, looking him up on the CWGC site, we can see that he was a Sergeant in the Royal Garrison Artillery, with the 1/1 Welch Heavy Battery. You're lucky here in that often the individual battery a man served with isn't shown. This gives us huge scope to find out more!

He was awarded the MSM (Meritorious Service Medal), which will probably have been for (as I say) being a good soldier over a period, as opposed to any single act of bravery.

Here's his Medal Index Card, showing that he received the British War Medal and the Victory Medal (the 'standard two' for men who went overseas after the end of 1915).

Edited by Alan Curragh
MIC removed
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The War Diary for the 1/1 Welch Heavy Battery survives and is in the National Archives under reference WO 95/226. You're lucky again there - many of the RGA diaries are missing. It isn't yet digitised, so you can't yet download it immediately (for £3.20), but the RGA war diaries are being digitised at the moment. Normally, you can go to Kew and look it up for yourself, but if you plan to do so, check first as it may be away being scanned as part of the digitization process. Looking at the below link, I think the digitisation should be complete in February.

The diary will give a day-to-day account of the battery's movements and what it was doing: http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C7349372

It is unusual to find other ranks named in the war diaries BUT, the RGA batteries were small units and often very local in character. If he received the MSM and an MID, he might be named in it, especially as he was a Sergeant. You'll just have to get hold of it and see!

Have a look at this thread as well: http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=133587

You might also want to contact member hywyn (see 'members section') as he has done some work on the battery in the past.

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Ive found a few photos of Coldstreamers I ve been looking for by searching images on ancestry

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A reminder that it is strictly against forum rules to post downloaded images from Ancestry (or similar sites) in response to requests, as happened above


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I'll consider myself duly rapped on the knuckles, then!

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It's strange that the booklet Cofeb y Dewrion has no photo of Aaron but has one of his brother Ebenezer. I sometimes think that the book was compiled from North Wales Chronicle archived material and therefore, no photo in the paper = no photo in the book. I haven't been able to fully explore this theory though.

Aaron and one other, 310260 Charles Archer, was killed outright when a large gas shell hit the back room of a house used as a control room by the battery. There were about 12 men in there at the time and the others were wounde/suffered gas inhalation.

His brother William Jones was in the same battery and was able to attend his funeral. I can't pinpoint his service number at the moment as there are quite a few William Jones' for the unit, at least four from Bangor. Do you have some addresses other than 24 Water Street for this Willam or maybe where he worked?

Ebenezer Jones you know about.

Another brother, Bezaleel Jones was also awarded gallantry medals. Here is what the Heral Gymraeg said 30/3/1917 (translated)

"Sometime last summer Acting Boatswain Bezaleel Jones, son of Mr John Jones, Water Street, was awarded the DSM for his courageous handling of a German mine which had got entangled in the hawser of the minesweeper on which Jones was serving, the mine being later safely exploded. Since then Jones has been instrumental in saving the same ship by rushing through a fire which broke out on board and closing the doors of the magazine. In connection with the latter feat of daring the senior naval officer commanding the base to which Jones’ ship is attached has written the following letter to the commander of the minesweeper

' with reference to your letter of the 15th January 1917 reporting the prompt action taken by Bezaleel Jones AB, mercantile marine (acting boatswain) at a fire which occurred on board the steamship------------ when she was sweeping off ---------- in heavy weather I desire that you will carry to them publicly an expression of my appreciation of his actions and zeal on this occasion'

One of Bezaleel Jones’ brothers, after participating in the Falklands Islands battle on board the Invincible went down with that vessel in the Jutland fight. He has two brothers in the same battalion at the front in France."


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  • 1 month later...

Hello Gwyn

There are a few of us 1/1st Welsh descendants here on the Forum. I'll PM you the details of members who've shared photos with me.


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Thank you. so much.

I am so so proud of my family.

I am amazed at their bravery. I know my Grandmother would not have really known what they did.

Bezelel did come home. Uncle Bess also died before I was born.

My Beloved Mum spoke highly of her Uncles, but she never met the two who did not come home either.

So to read the things you have found out on my behalf fills me with pride and yet sadness.

For ALL our young men who gave generously of their lives

I now will pass this to the next generation My Grandsons for them to know heroism within their family and also of those who walked, fought and sadly died together.

I shall continue to read up with your help about them and the others.

I hope next year now to visit and pay the respects of my whole family to these wonderful men.

If I can ever do anything to help any of you please ask and if I can help I will.

Regards and my total respect for you and those you also lost.

Gwyn Penny

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  • 4 weeks later...

Profound thanks to Cedric (Ced) who, in the spirit of the Forum, has gone out especially to take these photos of Aaron Jones's grave at Thiant cemetery.

His Meritorious Service Medal London Gazette here: https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/30750/supplement/7153/data.pdf



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