Malvern College First World War Casualty

2nd Lieut Arthur Leslie Gwynne-Jones

Photo of Arthur Leslie Gwynne-Jones
House and time at Malvern: No 2, 1912 - 1915.

Regiment: Royal Garrison Artillery.
Died: 04 May 1918 aged 21 in Belgium. Accidentally killed in action due to a fire.
Cemetery: Brandhoek New Military No. 3 111 B 37

252nd Siege Bty. Royal Garrison Artillery
Son of Annie Elizabeth and the late Lt. Col. J. A. Jones, of Ty Dyfrig, Llandaff, nr. Cardiff

'Leslie Gwynne Jones passed through the R.M.A., and received his commission in November 1916. He had been out at the front for fifteen months, and had seen some very heavy fighting, when the news came that he had been killed. He was at an observation post at the top of a building which was being shelled by the enemy, when the lower part was set on fire. Thinking that he could not get through the flames, he apparently tried to escape by the outside of the building and fell to the ground. He lived only a few minutes after the fall, and never regained consciousness. The Major commanding his battery said, in a letter to his father : "He will be missed most frightfully in the battery, where he was loved by officers and men. Your son had done splendidly ever since he joined the battery, and especially in these last few weeks under most trying conditions. His record of military service, short as it was, is evidence enough that the country has lost a loyal and gallant officer who would have' gone far in his profession. The promise of the future was foreshadowed by the capability he showed as Head of the House at a critical period in its history. All the Prefects having left at the end of the summer of 1914, he was brought to the front in somewhat exceptional circumstances, but from the first he fully justified the trust placed in him. His forceful personality - combined with tact, enthusiasm, and sound judgment—won everyone's regard, and his influence, which is still felt in the House, was always for good. He set a fine example of keenness and loyalty, and in a great measure moulded the character of a young and impressionable House. Though a little reserved at times, he had a wide circle of friends, and his loss is deeply mourned by all who knew the sterling worth of his character. He was a cricketer of no mean order, being a forceful batsman with many good strokes, and a safe field. In 1915 he was one of the best bats in the XI., and had a brilliant future. He took a great interest in all games, an interest that was wholly unselfish, and so was an inspiration to others to play the game in a right spirit.' (Malvernian, Jul 1918)

He was killed as a result of a fire caused by a tin of petrol (thought to be water) being accidentally knocked over and catching fire on an open brazier at about 1pm on the 4th May 1918. He was on observation duty in the north western tower at Vlamertinghe Chateau, two stories above the fire. He got out the window and tried to climb down the wire lightning conductor with another man but it broke and they both fell from a height of 75 feet.

Service record including full details of fire: WO 339/80565

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