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Eric was born in 1897 in Salford, Manchester to Ernest and Marjery Jones (nee Hodson). Ernest was born in Manchester and Marjery was from East Derham in Norfolk. The couple married in the Salford area in the first quarter of 1891 and then they moved in with Marjery`s brother Ernest A Hodson and his wife Elizabeth at 10 Victoria Bridge Street in Salford.

The 1891 Census was taken on the 5th April and it shows Ernest and Margery still living in Victoria Bridge Street but they now had a three month old son named Ernest Hilary St. Vincent Jones. At the time Eric`s father was employed as a solicitor`s clerk but this didn`t last much longer, he had a complete change of occupation and became a licensed victualler.

The family were still living in Salford in 1897 when Eric was born but the following year they moved to Preston where Eric`s father became the landlord of the Black Horse Public House on Friargate. Although the Black Horse had been around for a long time it appears to have been remodelled in 1898 and at the time it was owned by Kay`s Atlas Brewery of Manchester so this is possibly who Ernest Jones was working for prior to moving to Preston. The Jones family only stayed at the Black Horse for a couple of years and by 1901 they had moved to number 4 Swarbricks Court where Eric`s father was now `a teacher of music`.

Not long after the 1901 Census was taken Ernest Jones went back into the pub trade and became `mine host` of the Guild Hall Tavern or Guild Concert Hall in Library Street near St. John`s Church. The Guild Tavern is described as “having a large hall, beautifully fitted up, well seated and would hold upwards of 500 people, for concerts, lectures, public meetings etc. etc”. The Tavern regularly held concerts and musical events so perhaps this was the attraction for Eric`s father who had earlier been a `teacher of music`.

On the 7 October, 1901 landlord Ernest Jones was summoned to appear in court, the newspaper headline being;

Preston beer house keeper fined for harbouring
“At the Preston Borough Police Court this morning Ernest Jones, landlord of the Guildhall Tavern, Library Street was summoned for knowingly permitting his licensed premises to be the resort of women of immoral character.

The prosecution submitted the women went to the house to ply their immoral calling. In cross examination the police said that no other licensed houses in that neighbourhood harboured these women as the defendant did. Mr. Oakey (defence) said the defendant had kept the Black Horse for two years and there was no report against him. He had also kept licensed houses in Manchester with no complaints – he was therefore a man of good character.

The Bench considered the matter a serious one and came to the conclusion that the defendant permitted the women to remain in the house longer than was necessary and they fined him 10s and costs”.

Eric, his parents and elder brother were still living in Library Street when Eric`s youngest sibling was born in 1903. Arthur Ivan Harold Jones was christened in nearby St. John`s Church and in his baptismal record his father is still described as a `beer seller` living in Library Street.

Ernest, Marjery and the family seem to have departed the Guild Hall Tavern by 1904 and by 1907 Ernest Jones had become the landlord of the Barley Mow Inn which was located in Pitt Street, Preston.

By 1911 the family had moved on again, this time to the Iron Duke Public House at 193 North Road. Eric who was now 14 years old was working as an errand boy for the Guardian newspaper printing works. His elder brother Ernest Hilary (shown as Hilary on the 1911 Census) was a heel maker in a slipper factory and youngest brother Arthur was attending school.

In June 1915 when Eric was eighteen years old he enlisted into the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment at the recruiting office in Preston. He was allocated the service number 21159 and then posted to the 6th Battalion.
On the 14th November, 1915 Eric sailed to the Dardanelles with a batch of reinforcements to join the 6th Battalion, who had landed at Anzac Cove on the Gallipoli peninsula three months earlier. By the 20th December the Battalion was withdrawn to Egypt (via Mudros).

The Battalion was for a short time involved in the canal defence work at Port Sa`id, before being ordered to Mesopotamia, sailing there on the 13th February on the ship `Corsican`.

Sadly, Eric Jones died on the 27th April, 1916 while the battalion were involved in the relief of Kut Al Amara. There is no information as to whether he was killed in action on that date or whether he died from wounds or from illness.

The following article and photograph appeared later on in the Preston Guardian.


​Eric`s parents would later receive their son`s entitlement of the 1915 Star, British War and Victory Medals. Eric was buried in Amara War Cemetery, Iraq and he is also remembered on the Roll of Honour in the Harris Museum and Library in Preston.


Janet Davis
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One Response to 21159 PTE. E. JONES. L.N.LAN.R

  1. Ben Hills says:

    Hi, this is fantastic. I’m Eric Jones’ Great great nephew. Great read. I knew that his father Ernest was a landlord, but not that he was summoned to court. Thanks

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