Thomas Hiram Jones, a soldier from the British army born on March 20, 1894 in Clapham, London. He was the son of Edward George Jones and Isolda Blaine Jones. His father was a silversmith and they lived in Clapham, London. He had 3 brothers and 2 sisters. All the family were white British, and their religion were Roman Catholicism. One day he decided to sign in as a part-time volunteer of the territorial force and was enlisted with the Queen’s Westminster rifles.
Thomas H. Jones was called up on 27 August 1914 and joined his unit at its headquarters at 58 Buckingham Gate. Most of the Territorial soldiers volunteered for Foreign Service and he immediately did. Thomas Jones dressed like all British men who still wore the suit, a traditional three-piece outfit with pants, vest and jacket made of the same material. In 1914 these suits had patch pockets. The pants were wider at the hips and narrower at the ankles.
Thomas’s uniform was like the others which were khaki. The soldiers wore a cap with a cloth visor and their helmet was made of steel that could be used for many other things. The uniform had a turtleneck and patch pockets, pants, bandage leggings, boots with toe and reinforced steel heel. Thomas Hiram Jones had a wife and her name was Mary Catlin Brown, they married in the year of 1922. I chose the period of time from 1914 to 1918 as it began one of the biggest wars in history: The First World War. Choosing a soldier was important to me because they committed themselves to save their country and never hesitated to put their lives at the disposal of others.
Thomas H. Jones serve as a soldier during the World War I. The position that Thomas Jones had was in the trenches. When at the end of 1914 there was no hope of ending the war in a few weeks, the soldiers began to dig what was their home for most of the war. The normal thing was to dig three lines of trenches; the first that received and launched the attacks, the second that supported with men and supplies to the first and third that was 300 meters after the second, where the army reserve was located. With these three lines the enemy had it very complicated to move forward but living in the trenches was not easy either.
Life in the trenches was exhausting in many ways, not only physically, but also morally. It was boring and every soldier were afraid of death. An actual experience from a soldier who had the occupation of lance corporal articulates “…We have just come from the trenches where we were for seven days and had a most awful time. We were three days in the Reserve and put in the firing line where we took part in an attack and were also under a very heavy bombardment…” (National Archives). Life in the trenches was horrible and terribly affected the soldiers both physically and morally. The dangers were many: bombings, inhalation of gases, diseases due to poor diet, cold and humidity causing the ‘trench foot’. The source mentioned is reliable because it comes from a letter written by a soldier telling how his experience during the first world war was.
During the First World War some problems affected Britain much more than its Western allies, as it involved experiments in: economic affairs, railroads and coal mines, weapons production and social aspects. Thus, the war supposed, first, a telescope for social and economic changes; Second, the war blurred the boundaries between social classes and the sexes, and also changed the position of women, bringing political, social and economic emancipation. Economically, Great Britain had suffered serious damage because the industries of the Industrial Revolution on which the prosperity of the country had settled were damaged or weakened.
The Minister, Lloyd George, devoted himself almost exclusively to international politics and paid no attention to problems such as unemployment, lack of decent housing, Irish separatism, the resurgence of the industry and lack of attention by the government to the economic problems of the country. All these problems affect all the community of Clapham including Thomas Jones family. In the absence of men in Britain, the women began to work. According to Phillips “… female labour was more pronounced: in the metal trades female labour went from 9.4 percent to 24.6 percent of the overall labour force…”. This means that Thomas Jones family need to work in order to survive.
In 1914, almost nobody knew what the war would be like. No country had plans for a war that lasted more than a few months. As the only excuse for those who unleashed the war, it can only be said that they had no idea of what it was going to be, of the pain and ruin that is going to occur with the four years of war, destruction and homicide. They were more than nine million people dead, but not just because of the fight. The deaths were due also by flu, pneumonia, tuberculosis that was found by many soldiers. According to “Many died in combat, through accidents, or perished as prisoners of war.
But the majority of loss of life can be attributed to famine and disease – horrific conditions meant fevers, parasites and infections were rife on the frontline and ripped through the troops in the trenches.” The people who were in the trenches were in the worst conditions like being infected by lice, rats and also the fact of being always impaired due to rainy weather conditions. Some mates of Thomas Jones have a very bad time due to the flu that was so strong. In the trenches the plague of lice and rats could not be avoided, and every time Thomas had to kills them. Also, because of this Thomas had very disagreeable moments because when a partner was shot the rats stopped and ate the dead body.
Despite the difficulties, Thomas H. Jones was able to serve and represent his nation as a soldier to fight for the peace of the empires. Every day, Thomas Jones was mentalized and prepared for what could be faced in the war. His face reflected fatigue and fear of what could happen next day. The traumatic experiences greatly influenced the soldiers who had fought in the trenches. After the war, their incorporation into life was not easy. The day that every soldier hope arrived, the war ended on November 11, 1918 and Thomas Jones could went back to Clapham, London and married to his lover: Mary Catlin Brown.
Thomas Jones was an exemplary soldier since he survived the terrible conditions of life, the infinite waiting to end the war that all at first expected with such longing but that as time went by they only wanted its end. From my point of view, I believe that the character of Thomas H. Jones has some similarities from myself because he liked to help the others just like me. If they face a problem, he did everything possible only to support that person.