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CDR Loftus William Jones

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CDR Loftus William Jones

Birth
Petersfield, East Hampshire District, Hampshire, England
Death 31 May 1916 (aged 36)
At Sea
Burial Kviberg, Göteborgs kommun, Västra Götalands län, Sweden
Memorial ID 8016393 View Source
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World War I Victoria Cross Recipient. He received the award posthumously on March 6, 1917 for his actions as Commander of the destroyer HMS Shark on May 31, 1916 at the Battle of Jutland in the North Sea. Born in Petersfield, Hampshire, England, his father was an Admiral in the British Navy. After graduating from Eastman's Royal Naval Academy in Winchester, Hampshire, England in April 1902 he was commissioned a lieutenant. During his naval career, he commanded the destroyers HMS Sparrowhawk, HMS Success, and HMS Shark, the latter of which he was commanded after the outbreak of World War I in July 1914. On May 31, 1916 his vessel was part of the British Royal Navy's Grand Fleet that engaged in battle with the Imperial German Navy's High Seas Fleet at the Battle of Jutland, the largest naval battle and only full-scale clash of battleships of World War I. During the battle he was severely wounded in the leg and the HMS Shark was torpedoed and he went down with his ship. His body washed ashore in Western Sweden a few days later and he was originally buried at Fiskebäckskil, Västra Götaland, Sweden. In 1961 he was re-interred at the British War Graves plot in Kviberg Cemetery, Gothenburg, Sweden. His Victoria Cross citation reads: "The KING (is) pleased to approve of the posthumous grant of the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned Officer in recognition of his most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty in the course of the Battle of Jutland. The full facts have only now been ascertained. Commander Loftus William Jones, R.N. (killed in action). On the afternoon of the 31st May, 1916, during the action, Commander Jones in H.M.S. "Shark", Torpedo Boat Destroyer, led a division of Destroyers to attack the enemy Battle Cruiser Squadron. In the course of this attack a shell hit the "Shark's" bridge, putting the steering gear out of order, and very shortly afterwards another shell disabled the main engines, leaving the vessel helpless. The Commanding Officer of another Destroyer, seeing the "Shark's" plight, came between her and the enemy and offered assistance, but was warned by Commander Jones not to run the risk of being almost certainly sunk in trying to help him. Commander Jones, though wounded in the leg, went aft to help connect and man the after wheel. Meanwhile the forecastle gun with its crew had been blown away, and the same fate soon afterwards befell the after gun and crew. Commander Jones then went to the midship and the only remaining gun, and personally assisted in keeping it in action. All this time the "Shark" was subjected to very heavy fire from enemy light cruisers and destroyers at short range. The gun's crew of the midship gun was reduced to three, of whom an Able Seaman was soon badly wounded in the leg. A few minutes later Commander Jones was hit by a shell, which took off his leg above the knee, but he continued to give orders to his gun's crew, while a Chief Stoker improvised a tourniquet round his thigh. Noticing that the Ensign was not properly hoisted, he gave orders for another to be hoisted. Soon afterwards, seeing that the ship could not survive much longer, and as a German Destroyer was closing, he gave orders for the surviving members of the crew to put on lifebelts. Almost immediately after this order had been given, the "Shark" was struck by a torpedo and sank. Commander Jones was unfortunately not amongst the few survivors from the "Shark" who were picked up by a neutral vessel in the night." In addition to the Victoria Cross, he also received the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal, and the Victory Medal. His Victoria Cross and other medals are on display at the Imperial War Museum's Victoria Cross and George Cross Gallery in London, England.

Age: 36
Regiment/Service: Royal Navy, H.M.S. 'Shark'
Honors: V C

Son of Admiral Loftus Francis Jones and Gertrude Jones (nee Gray), of 30, Sussex

Bio by: William Bjornstad

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Peterborough K
  • Added: 23 Oct 2003
  • Find a Grave Memorial 8016393
  • Find a Grave, database and images (www.findagrave.com/memorial/8016393/loftus-william-jones : accessed ), memorial page for CDR Loftus William Jones (13 Nov 1879–31 May 1916), Find a Grave Memorial ID 8016393, citing Kviberg Cemetery, Kviberg, Göteborgs kommun, Västra Götalands län, Sweden ; Maintained by Find A Grave .