Museum of the Manchester Regiment
The Men Behind the Medals

James Alfred Jones

James Alfred Jones :

James Alfred Jones : Allied Victory Medal

Allied Victory Medal

We don't know anything about James' family or early life.

On the 28th January 1914 James joined the 7th Battalion of the Manchester Regiment. This was a unit of the Territorial Force based at Burlington Street in Manchester. As a Territorial James will have kept his civilian home and job, and trained as a soldier during evenings and weekends.

The First World War broke out in early August 1914 and the 7th Battalion was mobilised soon after. It was sent to Egypt on the 10th September. We don't know whether James went with them, or whether he stayed in the UK to help recruit and train more soldiers for the 7th. These new recruits would be formed onto a second 7th Battalion (2/7th).

If James served with the 1/7th Battalion then he is likely to have taken part in the invasion of Gallipoli in early May 1915. The battalion fought there until British forces were evacuated back to Egypt in early January 1916. They spent 1916 guarding the Suez Canal and were sent to the Western Front in France and Belgium during March 1917.

The 2/7th Battalion stayed in the UK training. It was sent to France in February 1917. At around this time soldiers serving in units of the Territorial Force were given new service numbers. The 7th Battalion was allocated the range 275001 to 300000. James' number became 275286. We don't know his old number.

On the Western Front both battalions took part in the Passchendaele Offensive, which was fought around the Belgian town of Ypres during autumn 1917. They both fought against the German Spring Offensive in March and April 1918. The 2/7th Battalion was disbanded during April, but the 1/7th took part in the Allied attacks of the Hundred Days Offensive. This began in August 1918 and led to the end of the war on the 11th November.

At some point during his service James was either wounded or taken ill. He was returned to the UK for treatment, but he did not recover enough to return to duty. He was discharged as 'no longer physically fit for war service' on the 13th April 1919. James was awarded a Silver War Badge, with serial number 450753, to show that his discharge was honourable.

The rest of James' life remains a mystery. His medal was donated to the Museum of the Manchester Regiment in October 2001. As well as his Allied Victory Medal, James was awarded the British War Medal for his Army service. He may also have received the 1914-15 Star.

Museum of the Manchester Regiment
c/o Portland Basin Museum
Portland Place
Heritage Wharf
Ashton-under-Lyne
OL7 0QA

Telephone: 0161 343 2878
Email: Portland.Basin@tameside.gov.uk
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Trustees of the Manchester Regiment Museum & Archive and Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council