Tag Archives: Welshpool

The Quiet Man!

Ted Jones MM. A quiet unassuming man with a remarkable story.

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Ted Jones MM on the right, pictured with another WW2 Veteran Mr George Beedles RAF.

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.

 

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Ted and Hugh listed together on the 11 Ind Company Orbat.

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

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Burma Star Veterans AGM 2014 – National Memorial Arboretum

Sometimes you have days you know that you’ll never forget. Yesterday was one such day for me.

The Welshpool Branch of The RWF Comrades Association, escorted two of their Burma Star Veterans; Harold Jones & Ted Jones MM to the Burma Star AGM, held at the National Memorial at the Arboretum, Stafford. Seven of us in total, all from different eras of the regiments history. On arrival our two boys were immediately approached by Viscount Slim and Lady Slim. The lads were so pleased and they all happily had a picture taken together.

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Harold & Ted MM with Viscount and Lady Slim

A short time later the boys attended the AGM escorted by myself and another “younger” veteran, looking around there was about 50 people in the hall, with about 10-15 of them actual holders of The Burma Star….Years ago, the Association would have in excess of 3000 men sitting down for the AGM!! Today the meeting was addressed by Viscount Slim, son of “Uncle Bill”, himself a soldier of pedigree, Gurkhas, SAS etc . You can see that Lord & Lady Slim thoroughly enjoy meeting up with these old soldiers.

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Viscount Slim addresses the Burma Star AGM 2014

We then attended a short service at the Burma Grove, whereupon Harold laid a wreath in remembrance of ALL Royal Welchman who never returned from the Far East conflict. Later as a Branch, we gathered together at the RWF Memorial Tree, as Ted MM laid a wreath in remembrance of all the Welshpool men of the regiment who never returned.

The Welshpool Branch

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Ted MM & Harold at the Burma War Memorial

Ted and Harold were brilliant company, two old soldiers, who speak the same language as us more modern versions, the same jokes and punchlines, knowing nods as we pass a pretty girl, plenty of mickey-taking and a genuine expression of happiness of being around other Royal Welchman. They are impressive men and on days like this you get a glimpse into their characters. Priceless.

That is all.

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May 22, 2014 · 10:23 am