Falklands heroes remembered

By Mark Elson in Local People

TWO servicemen who died in the Falklands War will be commemorated this weekend.

Sapper Christopher Jones, 19, from Cinderford, was killed by mortar fire with seven comrades two days before the conflict ended, when Argentine forces counter-attacked at night on a mountain called Two Sisters.

There will also be services in Ross-on-Wye to remember local paratrooper Private Timothy Jenkins, 19, who died in action the same day, June 12, 1982, and Welsh Guardsman Gareth Griffiths, who lost his life when Argentine planes attacked the RFA Sir Galahad, and whose family now live in the town.

The Cinderford branch of the Royal British Legion (RBL) is holding a service at the cenotaph to commemorate the 35th anniversary of the war and the sacrifice of former St Anthony’s and Double View pupil Sapper Jones, who is buried in the town’s Yew Tree Break Cemetery.

The son of Evelyn and Stan Jones, he was part of 59 Independent Commando Squadron Royal Engineers and had joined the Army at 16, beginning his career at the Army Apprentices College in Beachley, Chepstow.  

Sunday’s remembrance will start at 1.30pm with music by Bream Silver Band at the Triangle, followed by the service at 2pm.

Cinderford mayor, Roger Sterry, will lay a wreath on behalf of the town, and the service will be led by RBL branch chaplain Rev Mike Barnsley.

There will also be a collection for South Atlantic Medal Association 82 and refreshments at the Soldiers and Sailors Club afterwards.

A keen sportsman who represented his school at rugby, cricket and cross-country and played cricket for a local club, Sapper Jones joined the army in 1978, later attending the Corps of Royal Engineers at Chatham, and volunteering for Commando training with the Royal Marines where he gained his green beret.

Also this Sunday, those commemorating Private Jenkins and Guardsman Griffiths will include General Sir Peter De La Billiere, commander of the British forces in the first Gulf War and Air Vice Marshall Mike Smart.

The Ross-on-Wye branch of the RBL is organising a remembrance service at 11.30am at the Tudorville Cemetery graveside of Private Jenkins, a member of 3rd Battalion, The Parachute Regiment, who died in the battle for Mount Longdon.

Visitors will also be able to view an exhibition in the Market Place organised by local historian, Mary Sinclair Powell, from 12pm, while there will also be a parade from 2.30pm from Cantilupe Road along Gloucester Road to High Street, followed by a short service in Market Place led by Herefordshire’s RBL county chaplain Rev Marcus Small.

Branch secretary Margaret Jones said: “So far there are 17 Paras who served with Tim coming, and there are 40 others coming from Cwmbran Veterans Association, a group from the Royal Marines and lots of Royal Navy Associations attending.”

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