Today’s story is about David Jones, VC.
David Jones, from Smithdown Lane in Edge Hill, enlisted in 1915 and was soon promoted to Sergeant.
When the officers from his platoon were killed during the battle for Guillemont, Jones took control. Jones and his men captured a key road into the village and held it for two days and nights without food or water. On the second day they drove back three enemy attacks.
Extract from the London Gazette, No. 29802 dated 24 October 1916:
“For most conspicuous bravery, devotion to duty, and ability displayed in the handling of his platoon. The platoon to which he belonged was ordered to a forward position, and during the advance came under heavy machine gun fire, the officer being killed and the platoon suffering heavy losses Serjt. Jones led-forward the remainder, occupied the position, and held it for two days and two nights without food or water, until relieved. On the second day he drove back three counter-attacks, inflicting heavy losses. His coolness was most praiseworthy. It was due entirely to his resource and example that his men retained confidence and held their post.”
Unnamed private from 12th Battalion, King’s Liverpool Regiment, 1916:
“Nothing could dismay him. At times there was enough to make one’s heart sink to the boots, but Sergeant Jones was as chipper as could be.”
David Jones was awarded the Victoria Cross for his outstanding bravery. He was killed the following month. He never wore his medal. His widow, Elizabeth, collected it from King George V in 1917. His Victoria Cross is on display in the Waterfront to Western Front special exhibition in The People’s Republic gallery. You can read about the Victoria Cross being donated to our permanent collections in a past blog.