Ted Jones MM. A quiet unassuming man with a remarkable story.
The man pictured on the right is Mr Ted Jones MM, a Welshpool man who served with 2 RWF in WW2. A remarkable man and a tough lion of a soldier. I started digging into Teds service and was astounded to piece together one story, that until now, its importance was not widely understood.
Many of us connected to his regiment knew that Ted as a Section Commander with 2 RWF won a Military Medal for Gallantry in Burma in 1945. Where in the space of 30 minutes, he single handedly attacked the enemy on two separate occasions, killing a large number and thus prevented his own men and 2nd Battalion comrades from being decimated in a planned enemy ambush.
But! There’s another story…
On June 14th 1940….He joined 11 Independent Company…the forerunner of the commandoes and special forces. We know that at least one other man from the RWF, Mr Hugh Maines also joined this unit.
Ten days later on the evening of the 24 June 1940 at Dover, Ted, Hugh and 113 other men climbed into four RAF search and rescue speed boats, and crossed the English channel to attack 4 objectives, one per boat.
The aim was to kill or capture the enemy and obtain intelligence.
The mission was called “OPERATION COLLAR”. The task was personally sanctioned by Churchill, indeed the officer who dreamt it up; LT Col Clarke, accompanied Ted’s troop in the boat, as an observer.
This was to be the first ever commando style raid, which is what makes it so important and historical. We think Ted’s objective was Stella Plage – Beach.
Teds group landed and was immediately spotted by German sentries. The raiding party opened fire and killed them, which then resulted in a further firefight. Ted and his comrades were stuck on the beach for over an hour, hiding from the German forces, before their boat returned.
The only British casualty was the observer and planner Lt Col Clarke, who suffered a flesh wound from a German bullet.
By the time they had got back into the speedboat, they were wet, out of ammunition and only partially clothed. On the way back to Dover, they discovered bottles of Rum in the boat and made short work of them….Ted tells me the boys were quite boisterous by the time they reached Dover and the Military Police had to be deployed! It sounds like an scene from “The Dirty Dozen”….But its all true.
The operation only had mixed success, but it had opened up the possibilities and it convinced Churchill that units like this, with the best training and weapons could be devastating against the enemy. Within 12 months the Commando’s were in action.
Hugh Maines remained with the Commandoes for the rest of the war. Post-War, Hugh returned to the RWF. He was CSM B Coy 2RWF during the Malaya Emergency in the early 1950’s. He retired from the regiment in the early 1960’s
After a hard fought war, Ted Jones MM returned to Welshpool to lead the life of a peaceful farmer