It has not been possible to positively identify Jack in early records. He may be John Jones whose birth was registered at Stockport, between January and March 1892. A more likely person, however, is the ten-year old boy, named John, listed in the 1901 Census as having been born in Llanelli, but living in Stockport at the time of the Census.
In adulthood, he lived at 52 Ince Street, Stockport and worked at Meadow Mill, in the Portwood area of town. This was the home of his parents, Jack and Alice. His brother, Robert, lived nearby. The mill still exists on Water Street. Jack enlisted into the army, at Manchester, during the spring of 1915. The training period must have been short as, within a few weeks, he was at the front and, shortly after, dead.
In early July, the Battalion was at Dickebusch, some five kilometres south west of the Belgian town of Ypres (now Ieper). The unit's War Diary records that, in the evening, the men of No. 3 Company and half those of No. 1 Company worked digging communication trenches from the Vierstraat (a front line trench) to the South Redoubt in Bois Carre. It notes that "Lt Newell wounded in abdomen and 1 man killed whilst engaged in operation". Jack was the man killed, probably by shrapnel, and he is buried near to where he died.
Lt Newell is almost certain to be 2nd Lieutenant Thomas Newell, 2nd Cheshires. He died on 5 July 1915 in a military hospital. He was 19.