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Friday, 2 July 2021
- Local People
by Mark Elson – Editor
A TOUR of duty to the Falklands enabled an RAF man to pay tribute to Forest sapper Chris Jones on behalf of the soldier’s family.
Sapper Jones died while protecting his best friend at a feature called Two Sisters on June 11 1982 three days before the Argentine surrender.
Navy, army and Air Force personnel attended the 59 Independent Commando Squadron Royal Engineers’ memorial just outside Darwin. sailed south with them on board a logistic ship, landing in the Falkland Islands on Friday, May 21 1982 at Red Beach, San Carlos Water.
Sapper Jones was killed aged 19 in the last days of the Falk- lands War in June 1982 while on secondment to the Royal Marines.
The tribute had been planned for the 39th anniversary of his death but poor winter weather in the Falklands meant it did not take place until Wednesday, June 23.
The service was led by Padre Squadron Leader Jesse Holland and the stone was laid by Will together with a wreath laid by the senior Royal Engineer on the Falk- land Islands.
Chris took part in the long ‘yomp’ across East Falkland, finally arriv- ing at 45 Commando’s objective, Two Sisters.
Will Jones, who has family in the town, ar- ranged with Chris’s sis- ter, Tracey Pritchard, to lay a painted stone at the memorial to her brother 8,000 miles away.
Will said, “Chris’ story is one I was very familiar with whilst growing up so it was very important for me to see Chris get recog- nised and I hope it helps his family to see this event held.”
Chris was born on Au- gust 21 1962 in Cinder- ford, where he was the middle child of Stanley and Evelyn Jones.
On the night of June 11 the attack began and, at some point during the early hours of the following day, Chris and three of his Royal Marine colleagues were killed by artillery or mortar fire.
Leading aircraftsman Jones’s mum lived next door to Chris’s family and so “was very aware of the significance of the place for his fam- ily”.
He was educated at St. Anthony’s School and Double View Second- ary before joining the army aged 16 as a Royal Engineer.
His body was taken off the battlefield and temporarily interred at Teal Inlet.
Chris was brought back to the Forest, at the request of his family, to be buried in Yew Tree Brake Cemetery in Cinderford