War Diaries – 21st Bn. CEF

Lieutenant – Colonel E.W. Jones, D.S.O. – Commanding Officer of the 21st Battalion C.E.F.

From: 21st Bn. CEF- Thursday, August 8, 1918

Perhaps no individual loss in the whole of the Canadian Corps has been more universally lamented than the death of our Commanding Officer., who died when his Battalion had accomplished a completely successful attack. Colonel Jones was one of the original officers of the Battalion. An old Brockville boy, where at the beginning of the war he gave up his law practice and returned to his old provinces. He was a veteran of all Canadian Battles since the Battalion came to France. He was badly wounded at Vimy and recently had thoughts of rest, but was very loaded to leave his comrades. His influence upon all ranks of the Battalion was very remarkable. His knowledge of men and his power of teaching them to reach their best, by his confidence in them, was not the least of his great gifts. His relationship with his officers was very intimate and happy. He had not been very well for some time but determined to go with the Battalion at whatever cost to himself. The single success of the operation of the 21st Canadian Battalion words Marcelcave was due in no small degree to his prudence and insight. At zero hour on August 8th, he sat in a trench and watched the Battalion go over, sending messages to Brigade as the operation developed He was very anxious to follow, and did so at the first opportunity. At about 7.30 a.m., while on the high road, through the cornfield, beyond the lone trees, about half way to Marcelcave, we was struck by a machine gun bullet through the right lung, and died in a few minutes. He had a time to see the complete success of the day before he fell, for already stream of German prisoners were passing to the rear. His body was carried out by four German prisoners and the next day buried in the little British Cemetery at Lungeau, on the highroad. It is in the suburbs of Amiens and as he was laid to rest the sun went down over one of the most beautiful cathedrals in Europe, only a mile away. When a few days later a great Thanksgiving service was held in the cathedral for all deliverance of the City, his spirit must have looked down with the consciousness of duty done, for France, for Canada and the World. He was a very perfect gentle knight and of the best of Canada’s Sons.

Image: Lt.-Col. E.W. Jones, D.S.O. and Bar, 21st Bn, Courtesy of Library and Archives Canada.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *