Lance Corporal Robert C. Jones


The background of this North Irish Horseman is not known at present, other than that he lived in Belfast prior to the war, was born in London, and was a clerk. He was probably the Robert C. Jones listed in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland Roll of Honour as living at 31 Balfour Avenue, Belfast, with a Charles C. Jones, who served in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.

Robert C. Jones enlisted in the North Irish Horse at Belfast on 20 November 1914 (No.1404). (Other records suggest a more probable enlistment date of January 1915.)

He may have been the Private R. Jones who faced a court martial at Antrim on 4 February 1916 charged with 'Violence to a lance corporal. Resisting an escort. Behaviour to the prejudice of good order and military discipline.' He was sentenced to 56 days' detention, but this was later remitted to 14 days.

Jones embarked for France with a reinforcement draft for A, C and D Squadrons on 2 June 1916. Later that year he returned to the UK either sick, wounded or injured, later resuming duty at the regimental reserve depot at Antrim.

He was reported in the Police Gazette as having deserted from Antrim on 14 October 1916. He must have returned or been arrested soon after, for on 21 November at Antrim he faced a court martial on a number of charges, including desertion. He was sentenced to a year's detention with stoppages (presumably for equipment and uniform lost). This was later remitted to 6 months, and then to 3 months, with the 'first and second charges quashed'.

Jones must have served even less of his sentence, for at the end of December he was one of forty North Irish Horsemen who volunteered to transfer to the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. The formal transfer took place on 9 January 1917, and on the same day they embarked for France, where they were posted to the 10th Battalion, joining it at Ploegsteert Wood on the Ypres front on 16 January. Jones was issued regimental number 40647.

Nothing more is known of his service with the Inniskillings during the war, other than that the War Office Daily Casualty List of 1 November 1918 reported that he had been wounded. This would have occurred during the Advance to Victory offensive from August to November that year.

On 3 April 1919 Jones was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve.