Private Herbert Alexander (Bertie) Jones


Herbert Jones (standing) with his brothers George Campbell Jones (with dog) and (possibly) Henry Sewell Jones, taken at the Curragh in November 1917 by Mary Josephine McVicar, later to marry George.


Herbert Alexander Jones was born on 21 December 1893 at Ardrahan, County Galway, the last of six children of RIC constable Robert Jones and his wife Kate (nee Gunn). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living with his parents, sister and a nephew at Cregaclare Demesne, Ardrahan.

Jones joined the Royal Irish Constabulary on 17 February 1913 (No.67114), and soon after was allocated to County Down. On 6 November 1915 he resigned and two days later enlisted in the North Irish Horse (No.1807). In 1916 or the first half of 1917 he embarked for France, where he was posted to one of the squadrons of the 1st. North Irish Horse Regiment.

On 5/6 September 1917 at Ypres a working party from the regiment was hit by an enemy gas barrage. Ten of the men became casualties, including Private Jones.

In September 1917 the 2nd NIH Regiment was disbanded and most of its men, together with some surplus to the needs of the 1st NIH Regiment, were transferred to the 9th (Service) Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers – renamed the 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion. Jones was in Ireland at the time, recovering from his gassing. He returned to France and joined the new battalion in November 1917 (allocated regimental number 41638).

Jones later sustained a wound to his left forearm and was evacuated to a London hospital for treatment and convalescence. The War Office Daily Casualty List of 12 October 1918 reported that he had been wounded. On 20 February 1919 he was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve.

In November 1920 he was readmitted to the Royal Irish Constabulary, remaining until the force was disbanded in 1922.

Jones died in Ireland on 22 October 1984.


It is believed that all three of Jones's brothers served in the war. One, George Campbell Jones, a regular solder in the 9th (Queen's Royal) Lancers, was gassed at Ypres on 24 May 1915. In 1919 he joined the Tank Corps, serving until 1927 and reaching the rank of squadron quartermaster sergeant.


I am grateful to Mrs Eileen O'Neill, daughter of Herbert Jones, for making available the image and some of the information above.