IN 1956 a reunion photograph was taken of the Jersey branch of the Old Contemptibles Association.
For those not in the know, the Old Contemptibles was a group of old soldiers who served in the regular British Army before the outbreak of the First World War and went on to form the British Expeditionary Force to France in 1914. The photograph taken in 1956 was reproduced recently in a Jersey Evening Post supplement commemorating the Great War and the Jerseymen who served in it.
It caught the eye of reader Alan Jones who has been in touch to supply some more names and information about some of the men in the picture. He wrote: ‘I realised that I could supply another name to the “unidentified” people shown in the Old Contemptibles photograph from 1956. I believe the man sitting to the extreme left (facing) of the front row to be my grandfather, Captain Henry David Dimond Jones.
‘Thanks to generous help from Barrie Bertram and Mark Bougourd of the Channel Islands World War I Study Group (CIGWSG) I have recently been able to put together a clearer picture of his military career, which might prove to be of interest to your older readers who might remember him as landlord of the Don Inn, Don Road, from the early 1920s until his retirement in 1961 – apart from the years 1942-45, when he was deported to Germany with his wife, daughter, son-in-law and grandson. The latter is Godfrey Le Cappelain, who once worked in the printing department of the Evening Post. For that period the pub was run by my father, Harry (Bill) Jones.’
Mr Jones added that his grandfather was born in Llandovery, Wales in 1882 but spent much of his early life in India. His father had been a gunner in the mountain artillery during the second Afghan War in 1878. ‘When he was 15 he joined the Royal Artillery and in his late teens served in the Boer War for two years as a trumpeter. It is believed that he came to Jersey to train the locals in artillery skills and was stationed at Elizabeth Castle, Fort Regent and Grève de Lecq Barracks.’
In 1904 he married Alice Henry of St Ouen. He served in Sierra Leone and Gibraltar and went to France with the British Expeditionary Force where he fought in campaigns at Loos, Vimy and the Somme, where he was wounded.
‘He was “mentioned in dispatches” and won the Military Medal. 1917 found him fighting in the Third Battle for Gaza and the final operations in Palestine. He ended his time in the army in India before returning to Jersey in 1919 to take up his position as landlord of the Don Inn. He died in 1963.’
Mr Jones has sent in two other photographs which might bring back a few memories for Temps Passé readers. The earlier one, probably from the 1920s, shows Mr Jones’s grandfather on the far right holding a bottle and his wife in the entrance.
He went on to say: ‘It is interesting in that it was taken before the addition of the top floor – where I lived for the first 20 years of my life. The second one was possibly taken after the Liberation and their return from Germany, If anyone has any memories or knowledge of the Don Inn between the Twenties and the Sixties I would be interested to hear from them.’
• Picture: The reunion of the Jersey branch of the Old Contemptibles Association in 1956. Henry Jones is seated on the extreme leftnextpage