Douglas Llewellyn Jones was born on 28 March 1895 at Tallington Vicarage, Stamford, Lincolnshire. He was the second of three sons of the Rev. John David Jones and his wife Ethel née Carroll. He was educated at Clevedon House School, Ben Rhydding, in Yorkshire and then at Haileybury and Imperial Service College, near Hertford.
He matriculated at Durham University in Michaelmas term 1913 as an Arts student, intending to take Holy Orders. He was admitted as a member of Hatfield Hall, and attended lectures through to the Easter term of 1914 when his academic record ends, curtailed by the war.
He joined the Universities and Public Schools Brigade in October 1914, and was gazetted second lieutenant in the Lincolnshire Regiment on 14 January 1915. He was later promoted to lieutenant and then captain on 20 July 1917. He served in the Dardanelles, Egypt, and finally in 1917 in France.
It was as acting captain, with D Company, 6th (Service) Battalion, that Jones was killed in action at Langemarck near Ypres on 22 August 1917. The Battle of Landemarck, part of the larger Third Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele), had concluded on 18 August, and the succeeding days saw more restricted attacks, consolidating gains of the previous days. The circumstances of the day’s action are well described by Colonel F.G. Spring in a history of the battalion, (compiled in the 1920s from contemporaneous accounts but published only in 2008).
The next day the Battalion moved up in support and two days later relieved the 7th South Staffords in the line between Langemarck and Saint Julien. The enemy resistance was centred in concrete pill-boxes, which could hold anything up to a dozen men, were loop-holed on each side for machine guns, and were immune from anything but a direct hit from a very heavy shell. Many of them had been hit several times by 18-pdrs., 4.5", even 6" shells, but except for huge lumps of concrete being knocked off, they remained secure. To take these pillboxes was a problem. Their machine guns would fire right through an ordinary shrapnel barrage at our advancing infantry, and special tactics had to be devised to overcome them. A plan was eventually evolved by which small parties attacked the pillboxes from either flank, if possible getting in their 'blind spots', while a Lewis Gun engaged the front loopholes.
This method was successfully employed on August 22nd, when two Companies, 'B' and 'D', were ordered to attack and capture Bulow Farm, a large and strongly held pill box, situated among a group of smaller ones near the Pheasant Line. Captain Foster had been killed two nights before whilst on patrol, and 'D' Company was commanded by Captain Jones. 'B' Company was still commanded by Captain Sutherland M.C. The attack was successful and Bulow Farm was taken with several prisoners. Captain Jones was killed during the attack and troops on the right failing; our right flank had to be slightly withdrawn. … Casualties numbered about fifty.
The History of the 6th (Service) Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment 1914-1919, by Colonel F.G. Spring (2008), pp.51-52
His commanding officer wrote: “He was one of the most popular officers in the battalion, both with his fellow officers and with the men; I personally shall feel the loss terribly, as he was one of my most promising officers.”
Captain Douglas Jones was buried between Langemarck and St Julien, but the location of his grave having been lost, he is today commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial. His sacrifice is also recorded on memorials at Haileybury College, the church of St Mary le Wigford in Lincoln, St Benedict’s Square in Lincoln, Lincoln Cathedral, and at Hatfield College chapel.
Both Douglas Jones’ brothers served during the war, and survived. His younger brother Lieutenant D.A. Jones won a D.S.O. and a M.C., and served as an aide-de-camp to General Robertson in France. His elder brother, Second Lieutenant F.L. Jones served with him in the Lincolnshire Regiment.