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HERBERT JONES VC

 

 

Herbert Jones was born in 14 May 1940 in Putney, Middlesex but for much of his life was closely associated with Kingswear. He was educated at Eton then joined the army and was commissioned into the Devonshire and Dorset Regiment. He was awarded the OBE in the New Year Honours List of 1981.

When was broke out in the Falklands, he had reached the rank of lieutenant-colonel and was place in charge of the 2nd Battalion, the Parachute Regiment.

He was initially buried at Ajax Bay but later, his body was moved to the Blue Beach War Cemetery in Port San Carlos.

Herbert Jones VC

Courtesy of the Devon and Dorset

Regimental website.

 

From The London Gazette

8 October 1982:

VICTORIA CROSS

Lieutenant Colonel Herbert Jones OBE, the Parachute Regiment

 

On 28 May 1982, Lieutenant Colonel Jones was commanding 2nd Battalion, the Parachute Regiment, on operations on the Falkland Islands. The Battalion was ordered to attack enemy positions in and around the settlements of Darwin and Goose Green.

 

During the attack against an enemy who was well dug in with mutually supporting positions in depth, the Battalion was held up just south of Darwin by a particularly well-prepared and resilient enemy position of at least eleven trenches on an important ridge. A number of casualties were received. In order to read the battle fully and to ensure that the momentum of his attack was not lost, Colonel Jones took forward his reconnaissance party to the foot of a re-entrant which a section of his Battalion had just secured. Despite persistent, heavy and accurate fire, the reconnaissance party gained the top of the re-entrant, at approximately the same height as the enemy positions. From here, Colonel Jones encouraged the direction of his Battalion mortar fire, in an effort to neutralise the enemy positions. However, these had been well prepared and continued to pour effective fire onto the Battalion advance which, by now held up for over an hour and, under increasingly heavy artillery fire, was in danger of faltering.

 

In his effort to gain a good viewpoint, Colonel Jones was now at the very front of his Battalion. It was clear to him that desperate measures were needed in order to overcome the enemy position and rekindle the attack, and that unless these measures were taken promptly the Battalion would sustain increasing casualties and the attack perhaps even fail. It was time for personal leadership and action.

 

Colonel Jones immediately seized a sub-machine gun, and, calling on those around him and with total disregard for his own safety, charged the nearest enemy position. This action exposed him to fire from a number of trenches. As he charged up a short slope at the enemy position he was seen to fall and roll backward downhill. He immediately picked himself up, and again charged the enemy trench which he outflanked, and fell dying only a few feet from the enemy he had assaulted. A short time later a company of the Battalion attacked the enemy who quickly surrendered. The devastating display of courage by Colonel Jones had completely undermined their will to fight further.

 

Thereafter the momentum of the attack was rapidly regained, Darwin and Goose Green were liberated, and the Battalion released the local inhabitants unharmed and forced the surrender of some 1,200 of the enemy.

 

The achievements of 2nd Battalion, the Parachute Regiment at Darwin and Goose Green set the tone for the subsequent land victory on the Falklands. They achieved such a moral superiority over the enemy in this first battle that, despite the advantages of number and selection of battle ground, they never thereafter doubted wither the superior fighting qualities of the British troops, or their own inevitable defeat.

 

This was an action of the utmost gallantry by a Commanding Officer whose dashing leadership and courage throughout the battle were an inspiration to all about him.

 

Memorial to Herbert Jones at Kingswear

The Memorial to Lt. Colonel  Herbert Jones at the head of the slipway leading to the ferry at Kingswear, Devon.

©Richard J. Brine

 

 
 
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