Frederick Arthur Mitchell Jones and his twin brother John Michael Mitchell Jones were born in Birmingham, on the 27th August 1987 into a large happy family. With 8 brothers and 4 sisters, there was never a dull moment in the Jones house hold. Freddie used jokes and humour to stand out and get attention when he needed it. While from the outside Freddie’s childhood may have seemed deprived, Freddie never experienced it that way. His father was a bus driver and his mother a child-minder, both were loving and giving, providing their children with as much of their attention as they could. Freddie grew up in a rowdy, supportive environment, knowing he was never alone, always loved. While he never did amazingly well at school he did well enough, especially at sports and from an early age showed initiative and leadership qualities.
When Freddie was 14 years old, his grandfather, a man he very much admired and had spent a lot of time with growing up, was killed in a house fire. This affected Freddie deeply and nobody was surprised when a week after leaving school at 18, he started the year long application to become a fireman. On getting the job, his first posting was to Bournemouth, a town he enjoyed living in.
Being a Fireman suited Freddie, well-liked by his colleagues he enjoyed the camaraderie, the sense of ‘family’, of trust and of place. He loved that his work helped others and was proud of the service he gave to his community.
As a fireman, no call-out can ever be called routine, but the call out to a chip-pan fire in a terrace house on that fateful Saturday afternoon did seem that way. The kitchen of the house was alight when the fire truck arrived, black smoke billowing out of the downstairs windows. As close-by neighbours were evacuated they confirmed that an elderly couple lived in the house. Freddie and two of his colleagues donned suites and breathing apparatus and entered the building. They found the woman in the hallway and she was taken outside. Freddie pushed forward and found the man in the living room, and noticed immediately that while he was unconscious he was hooked up to a personal breathing machine. Worried about there being more oxygen in the house, he grabbed the man and made for the exit. It was too late, two oxygen tanks stored in the couple’s larder exploded, collapsing the house around him, Freddie was buried, he lived for a few minutes after this, but was dead before the fire reached his body.