Roy was one of six children born to John and Mary Elizabeth Jolley, in 1901 the family were living at 58, Mill Street, Congleton, Cheshire, the head of house was Mary's father Mark Barlow, Mark was a butcher, Mary is listed as a chip potato dealer and John is working as a labourer at an iron works, Roy aged 10 was at school. Ten years later in 1911 the family are still living at 58 Mill Street, the head of the house is Mark Barlow's son, Thomas Arthur Barlow who was also a butcher, the family must have been reasonably comfortable as they had one servant. Roy had two sisters, Ruth and Elizabeth, along with three brothers, Mark Barlow, Lawrence Stanley and John Thomas Jolley. In 1911, he was employed as a Farm Labourer. On the 25th December 1912 Roy married Annie Blackshaw at St. Peters Church, Congleton, they set up home at 15 Antrobus Street, their son, Norman was born on the 31st October 1913.
Roy enlisted in the 4th City Battalion of the Manchester Regiment in Manchester on the 7th of September 1914. He was 23 years of age. He gave his trade as a Miller. He transferred to the 19th Battalion Manchester Regiment and embarked for France on the S.S. Queen Alexandra on the 7th of November 1915. He was promoted to Lance Corporal on the 31st of December 1915. He was killed whilst practising a bombing attack some considerable distance behind the firing line. The news of his death was conveyed in a letter to his wife dated the 2nd of June 1916 from Captain R. C. Mather.
The following is an extract of the Court of Inquiry taken from Lance Corporal Jolley's Service Records.
Proceedings of a Court of Enquiry held in the Field, on the 1 st of June 1916 by order of Brigadier General Sackville West, Commanding 21st Infantry Brigade, to enquire into and report upon the circumstances under which No. 11863 Lance Corporal R. Jolley and No. 12272 Private R. L. Buckley were killed and under which No. 11713 Sergeant T. Whitehead, Private H. Kirkham and No. 11751 Private J. Bottomley were injured.
The Court was composed as under
Capt. J. A. Hislop, 19th Manchester Regiment.
Lieut. H. S. Ince 19th Manchester Regiment.
Lieut. J . F. Omalley 19th Manchester Regiment.
The Court having assembled pursuant to orders and to take evidence.
No. 11870. Private Kirkham, 19th Manchester Regiment.
At about 08:30 hours on the 1st I was in a bombing demonstration before Major General
Sackville West, No. 11863, Lance Corporal Jolley, No. 12272 Private Buckley, No. 11751, Private Bottomley and myself were all in the right party in the trenches, we worked to the right. Another party worked to the left. The distance between the parties increased as the demonstration went on. We were in a fire trench about half way through the demonstration and the throwing of bombs was going on. I heard a shout, Look out on the right. I then heard a report and saw blood running down my left leg on the left side of me I had been hit in the thigh. I then heard the bell ring as a signal to return to the point of entry. I got over to the place where I could be attended to.
(SD ) Private H. Kirkham, 11870. 19th Manchester Regiment.
No. 11751. Private Bottomley, 19th Manchester Regiment.
At about 08:30 hours on the 1st I was taking part in a bombing demonstration before Major General Sackville West. We were in practice trenches and were two bombing parties. I was in the right with Lance Corporal Jolly R.C. No 12272 Private Buckley and No 11870 Private Kirkham. Our party worked along a trench to the right. The other party worked along a trench to the left. The distance between the parties increased as the demonstration went on. The demonstration was just about to end when I heard someone call out from the rear of the column Look out on the right and get down. Lance Corporal Jolley was just in front of me.
(SD) Private J. Bottomley, 11751. 19th Manchester Regiment.
Lieutenant J. Robertson Hall, R.A.M.C. 97th Field Ambulance.
At about 08:50 hours on the 1st I was called to some men who were injured in a bombing accident. I first saw Lance Corporal Jolley and found him suffering from a compound fracture of the skull. I regarded his condition as hopeless. There was brain matter issuing from a wound in the left temporal region. I then saw Privates Kirkham and Bottomley. They were both injured in the legs. Kirkham was injured on the left side of the left thigh, Bottomley was injured in both legs. I had them conveyed to hospital. I saw Private Buckley who was dead when I arrived. He had a severe wound on the left lower chest behind the heart. Later I treated Sergeant Whitehead at the hospital for a slight wound under the left eye.
(SD) Lieutenant J. Robertson Hall, R.A.M.C.
No. 11606 Private Harold Moe, 19th Manchester Regiment.
At about 08:30 hours on the 1st Lance Corporal Jolley, Privates Buckley, Kirkham, Bottomley and myself were taking part in a bombing demonstration. We were in the right there were two sections each of 1 N.C.O. and six men. The leading section was composed of Lance Corporal Jolley and 6 men. The rear section was composed of Sergeant Whitehead and Privates Kirkham, Bottomley, Buckley, Hodgson, Bibby and myself. I had a bomb to throw a long distance, the pin would not pull out, so I was given a second bomb in my left hand. I pulled the pin out with my right hand and released the lever, thought the fuse had been activated too, long for me to throw the bomb with my right hand so I threw it with my left hand and endeavoured to throw it over the parapet into safety. It rolled back into the trench about 5 yards from me. We all in the rear section shouted out. The men in front cleared out of the trench , the bomb then exploded, followed immediately by a second explosion. The men in front were Lance Corporal Jolley, Privates Kirkham and Buckley. A man came running back saying two men had been wounded.
(SD) Private Harold Moe, 11606, 19th Manchester Regiment.
No. 12466. Private J. Tinker, 19th Manchester Regiment.
At about 08:30 hours on the 1st inst. I was in the lead section of the right party in a bombing demonstration. I was the last man but one of my section on long thrower duty. I
got to the end of the trench where our section was turning to the left. Someone behind shouted look out! I looked round to the right. All the bombs I had thrown had exploded before the warning look out! I had another bomb in my hand ready and was just entrusting the safety pin which was very difficult to get out. Lance Corporal Jolley was round the left trench in front of me, Privates Kirkham, Bottomley and Buckley with Sergeant Whitehead were to the rear section behind me.
(SD) Private J. Tinker, 12466. 19th Manchester Regiment
Lieutenant J. B. Higgins, 19th Manchester Regiment.
At about 08:30 hours, I was the Officer in charge of a demonstration in bombing before Major General Shea and Brigadier General Sackville West. I gave the order to my two parties to advance to the point of entry. The right party consisted of two sections. When all the men were in the trench I gave the order to bomb. About three minutes after I heard an explosion followed after by another explosion followed immediately by a shout, I said aloud there's a man hit. Immediately after another explosion took place. I cannot say from which direction the explosion came, except that they were both on the right. I immediately sounded the stop bombing signal. I came out of the trench and saw Lance Corporal Jolley being carried out. All the N.C.O.s and men were trained bombers and had completed this demonstration twice previously.
(SD) Lieutenant J. B. Higgins. 19th Manchester Regiment.
No. 12413. Private A. Masters, 19th Manchester Regiment.
At about 8:30 on the 1st I was the first thrower in the leading section of the right party in a bombing demonstration. The leading section was rounding a corner and turning up a trench to the left. It was composed of Privates Law, Lawson, Masters, Stuart, Lance Corporal Jolley, Privates Tinker and Britton. The second or rear section was immediately in rear of the first section in the long trench. It was composed of Privates Kirkham Bottomley, Buckley, Hodgson, Sergeant Whitehead and Bibby. I heard a shout Get Down. I threw myself down on the bottom of the trench. I heard the first bomb explosion and shortly afterwards another explosion took place. I then heard Hodgson shout There's two hit here. We found Lance Corporal Jolley and Private Buckley lying in a trench turning to the right at the head of the long trench.
(SD) Private A . Masters , 12413, 19th Manchester Regiment.
No. 12010. Private T. Bibby, 19th Manchester Regiment.
At about 08:30 hours on the 1st I was in the rear section of the right party in a bombing demonstration. We were in a long trench about 25 yards long. I had gone about 5 yards along it and I gave Moe a bomb. He could not remove the pin. He handed the bomb back to me and I gave him another. He could not remove the pin out of this one. He gave me this one back and I gave him a third. He removed the pin, holding the bomb in his left hand. He allowed it to fuse. He then tried to throw it over the parapet to the right. The bomb went along the side of the parapet and fell about eight yards further on into the trench. I immediately shouted Look out!. I turned about and went back two or three yards. I then went forward and found Buckley and Lance Corporal Jolley hit. They were lying close together.
(SD)Private T. Bibby, 12012, 19th Manchester Regiment.
No. 12356. Private William Hodgson, 19th Manchester Regiment.
At about 08:30 hours on the 1st I was the first in the rear section of the right party in a bombing demonstration under L. Higgins. My thrower had two bombs, His name is Buckley. I was carrying four more bombs for him. I saw a bomb fall into the trench about five yards in front of me. I shouted look out. The bomb then exploded. I could not see Buckley. Immediately afterwards there was another explosion. I then dashed forward and saw Buckley laid on top of another man.
(SD) Private William Hodgson, 12356, 19th Manchester Regiment.
The Courts is of the opinion.
1. That No.11863 Lance Corporal Jolley R.C. and No. 12272 Private Buckley R.L. were killed accidently.
2. That No. 11713 Sergeant Whitehead F. and No. 11870 Private Kirkham H. and No. 11751 Private Bottomley were injured accidently.
3. That No. 11606 Private Moe H. accidently made a faulty throw.
4. That Priavte Moe's, faulty throw was due to difficulty in extracting the pins from the bombs.
5. That the shout of warning following Private Moe's faulty throw caused confusion in which No. 12272 Private Buckley R.L. rushed forward with a bomb from which the pin had been extracted.
6. That Private Moe's faulty throw was the indirect cause of all injuries except those of Sergeant Whitehead.
7. That Private Buckley's bomb was the direct cause of all injuries except those of Sergeant Whitehead.
8. That the injuries of No.11713 Sergeant Whitehead, were caused accidently by a normal bomb explosion before Private Moe's faulty throw.
9. That something should be done to facilitate the extraction of pins from bombs similar to those used in the demonstration.
(SD) J.A Hislop Captain, 19th Manchester Regiment PRESIDENT.
(SD) N.S. Truce, Lieutenant, 19th Manchester Regiment
(SD) J.C. O'Malley, Lieutenant, 19th Manchester Regiment
I consider the matter to have been purely accidental and that no blame can be attached to anyone.
Herewith the proceedings of the Court of Inquiry into the circumstances under which 2 other ranks were killed and 3 other ranks became injured, all from the 19 th Battalion the Manchester Regiment, as reported in this Office Casualty Wire S.C. 554 of 2nd inst. I was present when the accident occurred and concur in the opinion of the C. O. 19 th Battalion the Manchester Regiment.
3 rd June 1916 (SD) C. Sackvilehurst. Brigadier General, Commanding 21 st Infantry Brigade.
Headquarters. Xlll CORPS.
Forwarded with reference to this Office Casualty Wire No A/ 1274, dated 2/6/16.
I was present when the accident occurred and I concur in the above.
4/6/16. (SD) H. Shea, Major General. Commanding 30th Division. Fourth Army A Forwarded. Captain, D.A.A. and Q.M.G.. 13 TH Corps.
For Lieut. Colonel, Commanding Xlll Corps, D.H.G. 3 rd Echelon.
Forwarded. Lt. Col. A.A.G. Commanding Officer.