3rd January 1918

Two local men lost their lives on 3rd January 1918 whilst on active service. Private Frederick Herbert Jones, aged 27, died at no. 12 Stationary Hospital, St. Pol, whilst serving with the 402nd Motor Transport Company, Army Service Corps. On the same day, Lieutenant John Francis Tryon‘s submarine, HMS G8, went missing.

Frederick Herbert Jones was born on 27th December 1891 and was baptised at Hadnall, Shropshire on 24th January 1892. His father, Herbert William Jones, was a groom at the Hardwicke estate on the outskirts of the village and had married Emily Louisa Saunders in Hadnall in June 1890. By 1901, the family had moved to Lee Brockenhurst, Shropshire, where Herbert was a whipper in to fox hounds.

Frederick was the eldest of the couple’s six children (four sons, two daughters). One daughter – Edith Alice – died in 1894, aged just two years old. By 1911, parents Herbert and Emily, had moved to Ringmer, Sussex, where Herbert was working for the Southdown Hunt. The two youngest children, Alma Louisa (born 1897) and Charles Arthur (born 1899), were also living in the family home. The other three children were all working as grooms and living away from their parents. Frederick and his brother Ernest William (born 1893) were at The Knowle, Cleobury Mortimer, Shropshire, whilst their younger brother, Harry George (born 1895) was at Oldlands Hall, Uckfield, East Sussex.

Ernest is also known to have served in the First World War, being called up in March 1917, aged 18 years and one month. At the time, he was a clerk and was living in Bayswater, London. He gave his next-of-kin as his father, Herbert, who was living at Trapps Green, Tanworth-in-Arden.

Private Frederick Herbert Jones is buried at St Pol Communal Cemetery, France, and is also commemorated on the war memorial at Tanworth-in-Arden.


John Francis Tryon was born on 18th June 1891 in Clifton, Bristol and was the fourth of the six children (three sons, three daughters) of parents Stephen (a chartered accountant) and Mary Annie Dickson (née Todd) who had married in 1881. All three boys are known to have served in the First World War, with two of them (John and the eldest brother, Frederick Charles Hilbers Tryon (1881-1916) losing their lives.

The local connection is that John was educated at Packwood Haugh Preparatory School from 1901 until 1904, when he won a scholarship to Royal Naval College Osborne on the  Isle of Wight. Cadets would spend two years at Osborne before transferring to the Royal Naval College Dartmouth for a further two years’ study.

John became a Midshipman, and was assigned to the battlecruiser HMS Inflexible in January 1909. Over the following two years, he also served aboard the destroyer HMS Ettrick, the armoured cruiser HMS Warrior and and the pre-dreadnought battleship HMS Hibernia. In January 1912, he was promoted sub-Lieutenant, attaining the rank of Lieutenant in March 1913. In 1914, he married Hilda Irene Hammond. He subsequently moved to submarines, serving with submarines C35 and C12, before taking command of submarine G8 on 30th July 1917.

The submarine left Tees on her final patrol of the North Sea on 27th December 1917 with a crew of 32, commanded by Lieutenant Tryon. Ordered to return on 3rd January 1918, the vessel was due back at Tees on 6th January. However, she failed to return and was declared missing on 14th January, the date ascribed in some records as the date of death of those on board. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission gives 3rd January as the date of death of those aboard G8.

Having no known grave, John Francis Tryon is commemorated on Portsmouth Naval Memorial, as well as on the Roll of Honour of Packwood Haugh School. His service records contains the note that he was above average and “a most zealous and capable officer in every way.”

His widow, Hilda, married Arthur H. Robb in 1919, and their daughter, Shelagh Irene Robb, was born the following year. Hilda died in 1955, aged 60.

If you have any further information about either of these men, please let us know.

Heritage & Local Studies Librarian

tel.: 0121 704 6977
email: heritage@solihull.gov.uk


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