Herbert “H” Jones


Herbert “H” Jones Famous memorial

Putney, London Borough of Wandsworth, Greater London, England
Death 28 May 1982 (aged 42)
Goose Green Settlement, Falkland Islands
Burial Port San Carlos, Falkland Islands
Memorial ID 8170664 View Source

Falklands War Victoria Cross Recipient. He received the award posthumously for his actions as a lieutenant colonel commanding the 2nd Battalion, Devonshire and Dorset Parachute Regiment of the British Army on May 28, 1982 at Goose Green, Falkland Islands. Born in Putney, Greater London, England, his father was an American artist and his mother was a nurse. He attended St. Peter's Preparatory School in Seaford, Sussex, England and Eton College in Eton, Berkshire, England before joining the British Army and graduating from the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst, Berkshire, England with a commission as a 2nd lieutenant in the Devonshire and Dorset Regiment. In 1972 he served in Northern Ireland as a major in the Headquarters 3rd Infantry Brigade and five years later he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel and transferred to the Devonshire and Dorset Parachute Regiment. Following Argentina's invasion and conquest of the Falkland Islands in April 1982 (Argentina had long claimed sovereignty over them), he was sent with his unit to extradite the Argentinian military force and restore British rule. After making landfall, his unit attacked the Argentinian positions and he was killed at the age of 42 when he led a charge against the nearest position. He was originally interred at Ajax Bay but was disinterred in October 1982 and reburied at the Blue Beach War Cemetery in Port San Carlos. His Victoria Cross citation reads: "On 28th May 1982 Lieutenant Colonel Jones was commanding 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment on operations on the Falkland Islands. The Battalion was ordered to attack enemy positions in and around the settlements of Darwin and Goose Green. During the attack against an enemy who was well dug in with mutually supporting positions sited in depth, the Battalion was held up just South of Darwin by a particularly well-prepared and resilient enemy position of at least eleven trenches on an important ridge. A number of casualties were received. In order to read the battle fully and to ensure that the momentum of his attack was not lost, Colonel Jones took forward his reconnaissance party to the foot of a re-entrant which a section of his Battalion had just secured. Despite persistent, heavy and accurate fire the reconnaissance party gained the top of the re-entrant, at approximately the same height as the enemy positions. From here Colonel Jones encouraged the direction of his Battalion mortar fire, in an effort to neutralise the enemy positions. However, these had been well prepared and continued to pour effective fire onto the Battalion advance, which, by now held up for over an hour and under increasingly heavy artillery fire, was in danger of faltering. In his effort to gain a good viewpoint, Colonel Jones was now at the very front of his Battalion. It was clear to him that desperate measures were needed in order to overcome the enemy position and rekindle the attack, and that unless these measures were taken promptly the Battalion would sustain increasing casualties and the attack perhaps even fail. It was time for personal leadership and action. Colonel Jones immediately seized a sub-machine gun, and, calling on those around him and with total disregard for his own safety, charged the nearest enemy position. This action exposed him to fire from a number of trenches. As he charged up a short slope at the enemy position he was seen to fall and roll backward downhill. He immediately picked himself up, and again charged the enemy trench, firing his sub-machine gun and seemingly oblivious to the intense fire directed at him. He was hit by fire from another trench which he outflanked, and fell dying only a few feet from the enemy he had assaulted. A short time later a company of the Battalion attacked the enemy, who quickly surrendered. The display of courage by Colonel Jones had completely undermined their will to fight further. Thereafter the momentum of the attack was rapidly regained, Darwin and Goose Green were liberated, and the Battalion released the local inhabitants unharmed and forced the surrender of some 1,200 of the enemy. The achievements of 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment at Darwin and Goose Green set the tone for the subsequent land victory on the Falklands. The British achieved such a moral superiority over the enemy in this first battle that, despite the advantages of numbers and selection of battle-ground, the Argentinian troops never thereafter doubted neither the superior fighting qualities of the British troops, nor their own inevitable defeat. This was an action of the utmost gallantry by a Commanding Officer whose dashing leadership and courage throughout the battle were an inspiration to all about him." His other military awards include the Officer of the Order of the British Empire. His Victoria Cross is on display at the National Army Museum in Chelsea, London, England.

Bio by: William Bjornstad


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