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 Isandlwana Casualty - John William Jones Davies

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Tim Needham

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PostSubject: Isandlwana Casualty - John William Jones Davies   Sat Apr 09, 2016 7:45 pm

Hello all,

I recently came across the following West Wales War Memorials Project page which includes a photograph of a memorial plaque within the church in Llandefeilog, Carmarthenshire:

www.wwwmp.co.uk/pre-ww1-war-memorials/anglo-zulu-war/

The plaque reads:

TO THE MEMORY OF
JOHN WILLIAM JONES
ELDEST SON OF EDWARD MORRIS AND
MARIA THOMAS DAVIES, OF UPLAND
IN THIS PARISH
KILLED IN THE BATTLE OF ISANDWHLANA
JANUARY 22 1879
AGED 31 YEARS

The website owner (who I have been in contact with) states that this is likely to be Pte 743 John Davies 2nd Btn 24th, and although this is perfectly feasible I think this could do with looking into a little further as most rolls seem to have 743 down as John James Davies.

The use of 'Jones' is perhaps a little confusing, but this was apparently his mother's maiden name and so therefore I'm assuming that this was given to him as a second middle name. It's perfectly possible then that 'James' was a mis-transcription of 'Jones' and that the individual on the plaque is indeed 743.

I can't find any other casualties by the name of J Davies so if anyone has any further information on the individual which may help to confirm his identity I'd be interested to hear.

Regards,

Tim
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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana Casualty - John William Jones Davies   Sat Apr 09, 2016 9:01 pm

Hi Tim

You are correct about the third Christian name, he was baptised on 30 Jan 1850 as John William Jones son of Edward and Maria Thomas Davies at Llandfeilog. His initials appear as J W J in the 1851 census age 1. Jones was the maiden name of his mother who married Edward on 13 December 1848. Difficult to make a conclusive link to the rolls however, 743 appears as just "Davies J J" on the medal roll at Kew, but he does seem the most likely contender.

Steve
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Tim Needham

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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana Casualty - John William Jones Davies   Sun Apr 10, 2016 12:55 pm

Hello Steve,

Many thanks for the information, 743 is listed in Julian Whybra's 'England's Sons' as John James (as well as a couple of other rolls I think), so I agree that although not conclusive proof that this is the subject of the memorial, it's a reasonably educated guess.

Also, at the bottom of the plaque it states that the memorial was erected by his brother Arthur; I understand that 743's effects were claimed by a brother so this may be a further indication that it could be the same person (I don't know if there is any way of finding out the names of claimees?)

Another option of course is that John William Jones Davies joined the army under an assumed name, which would complicate things still further!

Regards,

Tim
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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana Casualty - John William Jones Davies   Sun Apr 10, 2016 6:02 pm

Hi Tim
I don't think the names of claimees are preserved. Just out of interest this is said to be a photo of brother Arthur who had the memorial erected. Their father was a gentleman farmer from Carmarthen; Arthur left £21,000 in his will in 1920, a tidy sum in those days. Yet John, the eldest brother, joins up as a private soldier, and another brother Edward died in the workhouse in 1927.
[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

Steve
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Tim Needham

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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana Casualty - John William Jones Davies   Sun Apr 10, 2016 9:58 pm

Hello Steve,

Thanks for the photo, cracking work!

I'll try to find out a little bit more about John Davies, if anyone does have any knowledge of Isandlwana casualty effects being claimed and which records may help, I'd be interested to hear.

Regards,

Tim
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90th

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PostSubject: John William Jones Davies    Mon Apr 11, 2016 12:05 am

Hi Tim & Steve
Not much to add sorry to say , but as you are probably aware the following is from ' The Noble 24th ' by Norman Holme
Davies , John James . 25B / 743 Private
Attested at Brecon 2/2/76 ; age 24 . Served in D Co . Effects claimed by a brother ( which means to me he had more than one ? ) , South Africa Medal with Clasp 1877-78-79 .

D Co wasn't at Isandlwana , so is it possible he was a member of the Mtd Inf . or was seconded to another of the companies due to illness or shortcomings in another companies ranks ?
90th
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90th

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PostSubject: John William Jones Davies    Mon Apr 11, 2016 12:07 am

Forgot to mention , I don't know of any records identifying those who picked up their kins private effects , possibly Bill Cainan may know ? .
90th Shocked
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John Young

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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana Casualty - John William Jones Davies   Mon Apr 11, 2016 12:54 am

90th,

You can discount the Mounted Infantry, 2nd/24th supplied to 2nd Squadron, who served in Pearson's No. 1 Column.

I imagine that every 2nd/24th company out with Chelmsford had personnel who remained at Isandlwana responsible for their respective company's kit and baggage, so I think you can put to secondment idea to bed as well.

JY
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90th

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PostSubject: John William Jones Davies    Mon Apr 11, 2016 12:59 am

Thanks JY , I forgot they left their own company personal in camp to look after their companies effects etc etc . Salute
90th agree
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90th

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PostSubject: John William Jones Davies    Mon Apr 11, 2016 1:02 am

Hi JY
Bit late mate after 1am ! , you not working tomorrow ? Shocked
90th Very Happy
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Tim Needham

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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana Casualty - John William Jones Davies   Sun Jan 29, 2017 9:57 am

I've had some indirect contact with a family descendant and he absolutely refutes the idea that the individual on the plaque is 743 Pte J. Davies, although he is unable to give any further indication as to who JWJ Davies actually was - hopefully further information will come to light in the future.

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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana Casualty - John William Jones Davies   Mon Jan 30, 2017 12:58 pm

Tim

This is an interesting one. I assume he served under an alias (?). Age - born 1849? Assume he joined the army aged 18 years (in 1867) but 24th Foot Depot did not come to Brecon until 1873 but could have joined 1/24th in Ireland. However could have served in Royal Artillery.

The closest I can guest is:

25B/109 John William Evans 1/24th
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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana Casualty - John William Jones Davies   Mon Jan 30, 2017 2:53 pm

Taking a step back somewhat, in reality there is nothing to say he was with the 24th is there ? - and the memorial plaque inside the church does seem quite grand for a private soldier. Very intriguing!

Steve
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Tim Needham

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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana Casualty - John William Jones Davies   Mon Jan 30, 2017 8:12 pm

There is apparently a record of a JWJ Davies at Pembroke College, Cambridge from 1869 so this may shed a little more light on him given some further enquiries; I'll try to contact the archivist there....

Regards,
Tim
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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana Casualty - John William Jones Davies   Mon Jan 30, 2017 9:40 pm

Tim

J W J Davies at Pembroke (Cambridge) is your man. He is listed as the eldest son of Edward Morris Davies, Carmarthen. Admitted Jan 29 1869, nothing more on record.

In the 1861 census he was living with the family at 15 Milner Square, St Marylebone, London.

There are two family trees on Ancestry that both list him as killed at Isandhlwana, but neither gives any source for that information (other than the memorial) or any military details.

Steve
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Tim Needham

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PostSubject: Re: Isandlwana Casualty - John William Jones Davies   Tue Jan 31, 2017 6:56 am

Thanks Steve,

There is apparently a family plot in Highgate cemetery, London where the other sibling Edward Warlow Davies is buried - it's possible that there may be a mention of JWJ Davies there with further details, however the cemetery office charges a small fortune to look up graves.

Regards,

Tim
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