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Lieutenant-Colonel Herbert Jones VC OBE, (14 May 1940 – 28 May 1982), better known as 'H'. Jones, was a Britishmarker army officer and posthumous recipient of the Victoria Cross. He was awarded the VC for his actions as commanding officer of 2 Battalion, Parachute Regiment during the Falklands War after being killed in action during the Battle of Goose Greenmarker.

Biography

Jones was born in Putneymarker to a wealthy family, and attended St Peter's Preparatory School in Seafordmarker, Sussex and Eton Collegemarker. He joined the British Army on leaving school and on graduation from the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurstmarker on 23 July 1960, was commissioned into the Devonshire and Dorset Regiment as a second lieutenant. He was promoted to lieutenant on 23 January 1962, captain on 23 July 1966, and major on 31 December 1972, On 13 December 1977 he was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for his services in Northern Ireland that year. On 30 June 1979 he was promoted lieutenant-colonel, on 1 December 1979, he transferred to the Parachute Regiment. In the 1981 New Year Honours he was promoted to Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE). During the Falklands War he was in command of 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment (2 PARA) when the deed described below took place for which he was awarded the VC.

Command of 2 PARA passed to Major Chris Keeble, and Jones was buried at Ajax Bay on 30 May near where he fell. After the war his body was exhumed and buried at the Blue Beach War Cemetery in Port San Carlosmarker on 25 October.

Citation

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Controversy

The award of the posthumous VC to Jones was controversial. Ex-TA Para officer and military theorist Spencer Fitz-Gibbon wrote in 1995 that despite his undoubted courage H did more to hinder than to help 2 Para, losing sight of the overall battle picture and failing to allow his sub-unit commanders to exercise Mission Command, before his fatal attempt to lead "A" Company forward from the position where they had become bogged down (Not Mentioned in Dispatches ISBN 0-7188-3016-4).

The medal

His Victoria Cross is displayed at the National Army Museummarker (Chelsea, Londonmarker, Englandmarker).

Memorials

Jones is buried in the Blue Beach War Cemetery under a headstone which is topped by the Parachute Regiment's insignia and also features an image of the Victoria Cross. The headstone includes the quotation "He is not the beginning but the continuing of the same unto the end." A memorial stone to all those killed at the scene of the battle, near Darwin, also bears his name. His name is also on the South Atlantic Task Force Memorial in St Paul's Cathedralmarker, Londonmarker, and the Parachute Regiment Memorial at their headquarters in Aldershotmarker; he also has a memorial in the cloisters of Eton Collegemarker and a plaque on a footpath at Kingswear, Devonmarker. The memorial board from St Peter's School, carved with the name of Jones can be seen in Seafordmarker Museum. In addition the 'Colonel H' Public house in Great Yarmouthmarker, Norfolk is named in his honour.There is a wooden plaque memorial in Kingswear parish church and a copy of the citation is on view near the memorial.

Family

Jones's widow, Sara, was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for charity work (she is involved with a number of charities related to the armed forces) and since 2003 has been a Deputy Lieutenant of Wiltshire.. Both of their sons, Lieutenant Colonel Rupert Jones MBE and David Jones served as infantry officers in the Devon and Dorsets (now merged into The Rifles). Rupert was appointed MBE in the 2001 Queen's Birthday Honours..

References



External links




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