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Posted: 09.04.17

Christ College Remembers . . . Second Lieutenant Robert Rowland Akrill Jones

REMEMBRANCE DISPATCH NO. 28 COMMEMORATES SECOND LIEUTENANT ROBERT ROWLAND AKRILL JONES (SCHOOL HOUSE 1909-1910) WHO WAS KILLED IN ACTION ON 9TH APRIL 1917.

Robert Rowland Akrill Jones was the elder son of the Reverend David Akrill Jones (School House 1884-1886). He joined School House in January 1909; he was joined by his younger brother Edward Trevor Akrill Jones two terms later.

R R Akrill Jones left Christ College in 1910 and joined an engineering firm. Three years he emigrated to Canada with plans for a career in farming. War was declared shortly after his arrival and The Breconian reported that he came over with one of the earliest Canadian contingents”. The report, “He suffered a good deal from ill-health during his course of training, but stuck pluckily to it, and after a short spell in the Flying Corps, secured a commission in the KOYLI (King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry).”

Initially training with the Inns of Court, he was later commissioned as a Second Lieutenant into the King’s Own Yorkshire light Infantry. On Easter Monday 9th April 1917 Robert was tasked with leading his men to attack the Hindenburg line on the first day of the Battle of Arras. The Battalion Diary for that day reads “Trenches 9/4/17 Battalion in action. Assault on Hindenberg line unsuccessful owing to insufficient artillery preparation”. The result of the assault on the line was “Capt. A.G. Spark, 2 Lt. R.R. Akrill Jones and 2 Lt. S. Harvey killed. 8 officers and 176 other ranks killed, wounded or missing.”

Second Lieutenant Robert Rowland Akrill Jones is buried in the Cojeul British Cemetery, St Martin-sur-Cojeul, France. Together with his brother, Edward Trevor Akrill Jones who was killed in 1918, he is remembered on the War Memorial in the Market Place, Bolsover as well as on the Christ College War Memorial.

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