JONES, Anthony Leonard. Pilot Officer (42843)
10 Squadron, Royal Air Force.
Died 6 November 1940, aged 20.
Frederick Leonard Jones (b. 1889 in Spalding and educated at Spalding Grammar School), a Journalist, became editor of the Malay Mail, Kuala Lumpur, in 1912. On 11 October 1915 at St Georges's Church, Penang, he married Miss Blanche [Lucy] Burrows from Norfolk. A daughter, Margaret Elizabeth Jones arrived in the Federated Malay States during 1917 but the birth of their son, Anthony Leonard Jones, came to be registered in Erpingham, Norfolk, for the June Quarter of 1920. Mrs Blanche L Jones, with Margaret aged 3 and Anthony 7 months returned to Port Swettenham, Malaysia on the Glenluce, 3 May 1921.
It appears that Anthony and his sister were brought up in Malaya but came back to England with their father just before the outbreak of WW2. Frederick Leonard Jones, Journalist aged 50, sailed home alone to Port Swettenham on 26 September 1939, having been staying at 74 Alexander Road, Epsom.
Anthony may already have learned to fly because, from 23 October 1939, he was granted a Short Term Commission of 4 years as an Acting Pilot Officer. He advanced to Pilot Officer on probation, 20 April 1940, and that position was confirmed on 14 August 1940.
On the night of 20/21 September 1940 the crew of Whitley P5001 of 10 Squadron was tasked with an operational flight to bomb primary targets of Hamm, Soest and Ehrang. They took off at 21.17 hrs and dropped their bombs on one of the primary targets between 00.50hrs and 01.05hrs in a series three attacks. Bombs were seen to fall on railway lines and anti-aircraft fire was encountered by this crew but they described it as being slight. Nevertheless, the aircraft's port wing had been hit and sustained several small holes because of this flak. The aircraft was able to make a safe return to RAF Leeming and landed at 05.15hrs.
This encounter was survived by: -
Pilot - P/O Anthony Leonard Jones RAF (42843), of Ewell, Surrey,
Second Pilot - P/O Allan Bridson RAF (36267), of Silverdale, Auckland, New Zealand,
Observer - Sgt Edgar George Harding RAFVR (749521), of Liverpool,
Wireless Operator - Sgt James Beasley Watt RAF (647062), of Edinburgh
Air Gunner - Sgt H W Green RAF (651321)
On the night of 5th/6th November 1940, however, Jones, Harding and Watt were flying in the same aircraft, Whitley P5001 KA - S, on an operation to Milan. The plane failed to return to base and was last heard transmitting distress signals on returning to England.
[AIR27/141 PTB 234 Routed: Base - Bassingbourn - Orford Ness - French Coast - Target - French Coast - Orford Ness - Bassingbourn.This aircraft reported operation had been completed at 23:59 on 5 November 1940 but failed to return. Sealand recorded that an SOS had been received from PTB 234, fixed 10 miles E of North Foreland at 06:10 on 6 November 1940.]
Anthony is remembered on the Runnymede Memorial,which commemorates airmen and women with no known grave, as a son of Frederick Leonard and Blanche Lucy Jones; nephew and ward of Esmond V Jarrold, of Ewell, Surrey.
The local connection was Anthony's uncle, Esmond Vavasseur Jarrold (b. Thorpe Norfolk 1887 - d. reg. Surrey Mid E 9/1960). He had lived at Ferncote, Woodcote Side, Epsom, but by 1936 moved to Roxley, 87 The Green, Ewell.
HMS. Giang Bee, a Chinese-owned coastal steamer requisitioned and used as a patrol vessel, left Singapore Harbour at 10 p.m. on Thursday 12 February 1942. Although Captain Lancaster, in command of the ship, initially refused to take civilian passengers because he saw the dangers attached to a ship designated as a warship, she was loaded with up to 350 refugees who were mostly women, children and the elderly. All her Malay crew had been ordered ashore in Singapore before she left, so that the crew consisted of a handful of RNVR. personnel and some passengers who volunteered to be stokers etc. She was bombed and suffered damage during the day of 13 February, and in the evening, after a long stand-off with a Japanese destroyer, was shelled and sunk in the Banka Strait. There had never been enough lifeboats for those on board, and two of them had been seriously damaged by the day's bombing. Due to this and the speed with which the ship sank, a large number of lives were lost. Amongst the fatalities had been Frederick Leonard Jones.
Mrs Blanche Lucy Jones survived the Giang Bee sinking to become a Sumatra internee. Sadly, she subsequently died in captivity on 8 December 1944 at Palembang women's camp and was interred at Muntok.
F L Jones' married daughter Margaret Elizabeth Baker was left to adninister his estate. His image may be viewed at www.sabrizain.org
. The family had lived at 243 Circular Road, Kuala Lumpur.
Brian Bouchard © 2017
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