Lives Lived and Lives Lost - Portsmouth and the Great War

If it wasn't for his attendance at St. John's College, Basil Jones's service in the Great War would be rendered almost invisible. Fortunately, despite his name being absent from the Guildhall Cenotaph, it's inclusion on the college WW1 memorial ensures that will never happen. There is no obvious reason why the name of Basil is missing from the Cenotaph as he not only attended school in Portsmouth but his family had lived in the Borough for about ten years prior to his death.
Basil's father Frederick Jones had been born in Smethwick in 1868, met and married his wife Catherine in Warwickshire and had four children with her, all born in Leamington. The children were Leo (b. 1896), Audrey (b. 1897), Basil (b. 1898) and Margaret (b. 1903). We do not know why the family re-located to Portsmouth in the early years of the 20C though it could have had something to do with Frederick's profession as an engineer though his parallel ownership of a laundry confuses the matter somewhat. According to the 1911 census the family lived at 22 Waverley Road, Southsea, a smart address at the time.
At the outbreak of war Basil was just 16 years of age and therefore ineligible for enlistment. The following year he turned 17 and was recruited as a Motor Dispatch rider. At some point he transferred to the Royal Air Force and lost his life in unknown circumstances in September 1918.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission lists Lieutenant Basil Jones, 4th Squadron, Royal Air Force, died on 28/09/1918. Buried in La Kreule Military Cemetery Hazebrouck (Grave Ref: IV.A.18.). Son of Frederick W. E. and Catherina Jones, of 22, Waverley Road, Southsea, Hants. Had exactly three years' service, first as Motor Dispatch Rider with 11th Division.
Basil Jones is remembered on the St. John's College WW1 Memorial but not on the Cenotaph. He is not listed in the 'National Roll of the Great War' and there seems to be no RAF service record for him.
Tim Backhouse
March 2014