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The portrait revealed on this beach was:
Age: 26 Date of Death: 27/07/1916
Husband of Mary Jane Jonas, of 41, Shafto Terrace, New Washington, Co. Durham. Former player with Clapton Orient Football Club.Read More
Private William Jonas (September 1890 – 27 July 1916)
Born in Blyth, Northumberland, William Jonas played for local football clubs Jarrow Croft and Havanna Rovers before joining London-based Clapton (later Leyton) Orient in 1912 on the recommendation of his childhood friend and forward for the club, Richard McFadden.
With Jonas’s speed and passing ability, Orient thrived in the years before the First World War, although in January 1915 he was sent off during a match against Millwall for fighting with their goalkeeper, inciting a riot in the crowd. When professional football was suspended, Jonas joined the 17th Battalion, Middlesex Regiment, known as the Football Battalion as it was formed around a core of professional players who had all volunteered.
During the battle of the Somme, Jonas and McFadden were trapped in a trench under heavy fire while fighting in Delville Wood. Jonas raced out and his old friend from Blyth witnessed him shot and killed instantly. Thousands of men from Northumberland perished during the war, William’s hometown was the site of the second air raid on British soil.