William Edward Jones was the eldest of the eight children of Thomas, an agricultural worker, and Jeanette, of Ciltwrch, a couple of miles to the west of the chapel. He joined the Hereford Regiment early in 1916, which had been seconded to the King’s Shropshire Light Infantry two years earlier. This battalion had been in France since September 1915 and were recruiting heavily at the time of Edward’s joining, following action in the Ypres area. His regiment were in the thick of the action around Arras and Ypres and suffered great loss of life. Indeed, Edward ‘would have been witness to and participated in some of the worst fighting of the western Front during WW1’.

Notes from the battalion war diary for March 1918 recorded many probing attacks on allied trenches by the Germans, and during one of these raids, on 21st March, Edward was killed in action. His death was announced in the ‘Brecon & Radnor Express’ with a single line:

Pte. E. Jones, K.S.L.I. (Ffynnongynydd) was killed in action in the last offensive.

He is remembered on the walls of the Arras Memorial, along with nearly 36000 of his comrades who were killed in action in the area and who have no known grave. Edward is also remembered in our chapel, on a simple brass plaque, along with a fellow member. On Sunday 26th May 1918, a memorial service was held at Maesyronnen, recorded in the ‘Brecon & Radnor Express’ the following Thursday:

A largely attended memorial service for the late Pte. Edward Jones, K.S.L.I., was conducted last Sunday afternoon at Maesyronnen. He was killed in action on 21st March, having been in France a twelvemonth to the day, and it was on the same date two years ago when he joined up. He was 22 years of age, and much beloved. Much sympathy is felt for the stricken parents, and young brothers and sisters who are highly respected.
236820 Pte William Edward Jones, 7th Bn Hereford Regiment, K.S.L.I.