Lieutenant Carlton Gwynne Jones MC
It is particularly appropriate that in this, the centenary year of the start and national commemoration of World War One, that this episode should be recalled, particularly with its local association. Byron Davies.
Sifting through some family papers the other day I came across a newspaper cutting from The Llanelli Star for April 30, 1977. It is titled 'Hero's widow gives medal to museum' and refers to a Llanelli widow who was too proud of a medal for bravery awarded to her husband to ever want it to fall into the hands of a collector. The widow was my wife's aunt, Mrs Daisy M. Jones nee Rees, formerly of Capel Isaf House, Llanelli.The medal, the Military Cross was awarded to 2nd Lieutenant Carlton Gwynne Jones of the 5th Battalion of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers in 1915. The Military Cross was the third level military decoration awarded to officers, and was instituted on 28th December 1914, and, since 1993 is open to all ranks. The citation published in the London Gazette in September 1918 reads:
His Majesty the King has been graciously pleased to approve the following award to the undermentioned in recognition of his conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in the Field. This officer led a platoon in an attack on an enemy position and succeeded in reaching a line close to the enemy, where he held on for five hours, insulated by machine-gun fire after all the other officers of his company had become casualties. He set a fine example to his men.Lieutenant Jones received a serious thigh wound during the action at Douvers, north western France, and was repatriated and treated at Roehamton Hospital and King Edward VII Military Hospital, London, but his injury left him with an open wound from which he suffered for the rest of his life. A painful but, perhaps, unwanted reminder of that terrible conflict.
The medal and the inflicting bullet which caused his injury were presented and are now on display at the Royal Welch Fusiliers Regimental Museum, Caernarfon Castle, North Wales. An army spokesman described the medal as in mint condition, and the awards of the MC were few and far between, so they were in demand by collectors.
Carl was born in Kidwelly in 1884, and became an auctioneer, valuer and estate agent in the town. He was a member of the Carmarthen Territorial Army, and it was from there that he was enlisted at the age of 30 into the 5th Battalion of the Royal Welch Fusiliers at the outbreak of WWI, probably, in view of subsequent action, into the machine-gun section. After his discharge from army service, Mr and Mrs Jones lived at Kensington, London, until his retirement from the Civil Service, returning to live in Llanelli in the 1950s.
I had the pleasure of knowing the couple very well during their retirement days, and during our conversations, as with most veterans of that conflict, I cannot recall him ever referring to the fore mentioned incident. Carl could be described in terms of the anachronistic adage as the epitome of an 'officer and a gentleman', while Daisy was quite a lady who, reputedly, was the last person in Llanelli to wear a face-veil on her hat. Carl died aged 76 in 1960, Daisy in 1977, both are buried in Dafen Churchyard.