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Biography: Enlisted at Halifax, aged 18. Awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for services in the Boer War (London Gazette 31.10.02), during which he was severely wounded at Boschmans Pan. Awarded The Long Service & Good Conduct Medal in Oct 1907. Retired with the rank of Colour Sergeant after 23 years service 1911. Re-enlisted in 1914 and served throughout with the 6th Bn, attaining the rank of R.S.M. After the war he returned to the Church Hill hotel as licensee. Died October 1931
Born in April 1870 at Bradford, Yorkshire, England, George Jones was the son of a machine broker to the wool trade. He enlisted into the Leicestershire Regiment (17th Foot), ‘The Tigers’ at the age of eighteen and retired from the regiment 23 years later on June 12th, 1911 with the rank of Colour Sergeant and the Distinguished Conduct Medal. These dates have been established from the engraving on a Tantalus presented to him by the regiment on his retirement. The Tantalus is still in the family as are his medals which are illustrated later. Ever the professional soldier George‘s military service did not end in 1911 as he was called back to service in the First World War and served throughout that conflict.
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Extract from letter from another soldier concerning his wounding at B.P.
You will have heard or seen by this time that your brother was severely wounded through the arm of the 5th last. Old Cruet had a warm 5 hours that day, having got within 800 yards of the …enemy….
Com‘dg Officer came up to him and asked him to take 12 men with him and push about 50 yds forward. Cruet got there alright, but if ever 13 men got in a war corner that honour belongs to Cruet‘s party, bullets everywhere. One hit the antheap Cruet was behind and smothered him with dust, 5 minutes afterwards he received his wound. When I came in about 2 hours later, Cruet met me with his arm in a sling, with that old smile and said ’Let my Dad and brother know, say it only slight, they will be awfully anxious“.
Of course, the wound is far from slight but I hope to shake his good old fist in a months time and to find him as fit as ever he was. Mr Jones you have a damned good brother. Hes not only a thorough soldier but one the pleasantist chaps it has been my pleasure to call ’chum“, happy-go-lucky, with a slice of devil in him, and a face that is never without a smile, has made him no end of friends and scores of men ran out to meet me to inform me that poor old Cruet had got one in the arm. I know your sister and Dad think a lot of him, he well deserves it.
Excuse me not letting you know the goings on of our column, but convoy starts in an hours time and I must write and let my folks know of my whereabouts and safety.
Try to make this out, my knee forms army writing desk and it leaves a lot to be desired, when used for this purpose.
Cruet has been sent to Ermelo with the rest of the wounded, and I expect to hear from him if he can get any one to scribble for him.
Kind rememberances to your Father and Sister, yourself and wife and kisses to all the kiddies from uncle George.
Yours VERY truly
A Wood Co. Sergeant D.