Lt D R Geraint Jones, 3rd Mons, KIA 28 Jun 44

Can anyone here help me discover any more information on Lt David Rhys Geraint Jones of the 3rd Monmouths (159 Bde, 11th Armoured Division), who died of wounds in Normandy on 28th June 1944?

His given name was Geraint, so he is recorded in some places simply as Lt G Jones.

He was Mentioned in Dispatches, but I've not been able to discover the circumstances, let alone the exact citation. Is there a source for such things on line?

I've not been able to discover which company or platoon he belonged to. 'C' Company 3rd Mons saw intense fighting on 28th June, defending the village of Mouen, unsupported, against Kampfgruppe 'Frey' of the 12th SS 'HJ' Panzer Division. I wonder if this is the action in which he met his end?

I was however, astounded to discover that he was the author of a very famous poem:

Let me not see old age

Let me not see old age: Let me not hear
The proffered help, the mumbled sympathy,
The well-meant tactful sophistries that mock
Pathetic husks who once were strong and free,

And in youth's fickle triumph laughed and sang,
Loved, and were foolish; and at the close have seen
The fruits of folly garnered, and that love,
Tamed and encaged, stale into grey routine.

Let me not see old age; I am content
With my few crowded years; laughter and strength
And song have lit the beacon of my life.
Let me not see it fade, but when the long
September shadows steal across the square,
Grant me this wish: they may not find me there.

by D.R Geraint Jones



I'm taking some cadets from his home town of Haverfordwest to Normandy in August and I'm sure they'll want to honour him properly. It'd be good to know a little more about the circumstances surrounding his death and regarding his award of MiD.
 
I know its a decade and you may not get this message.

I am a Battlefield guide working in Normandy. I have been focusing on D R G Jones for some years now. Hardly anything is known about him. He was C company and he died between the Railway that is now the A84 road and the Church in Mouen.

If in the 10 years since you have uncovered any information please contact me. I am in a desperate search for a photo of him.

Cheers

Lloyd
 
David Rhys Geraint Jones, MID, Lieutenant, 247467, The Monmouthshire Regiment. (Haverfordwest). David was the son of William Emlyn David and Mary Ceinwen Jones, of Haverfordwest. He was educated at Haverfordwest Grammar School, Cheltenham College and Trinity Hall, Cambridge. In 1942 he passed through Sandhurst and received a commission to the Royal Armoured Corps, before being posted to the 3rd Battalion, Monmouthshire Regiment. The battalion landed in Normandy as part of 11th Armoured Division in June 1944, and took part in the break out from the beach head. David was killed when his Company were attacked by the 12th S.S. Panzer Division, during Operation Epsom on 28 June 1944. He was 22 years old, and is buried at St. Manvieu War Cemetery, Cheux, France. He had been Mentioned in Despatches during his brief time in France, and was a well known Poet.

A slightly different account.

If a summary of known information is posted, it might ease the task of one of the experts should they decide to pick up on this.
 
David Rhys Geraint Jones, MID, Lieutenant, 247467, The Monmouthshire Regiment. (Haverfordwest). David was the son of William Emlyn David and Mary Ceinwen Jones, of Haverfordwest. He was educated at Haverfordwest Grammar School, Cheltenham College and Trinity Hall, Cambridge. In 1942 he passed through Sandhurst and received a commission to the Royal Armoured Corps, before being posted to the 3rd Battalion, Monmouthshire Regiment. The battalion landed in Normandy as part of 11th Armoured Division in June 1944, and took part in the break out from the beach head. David was killed when his Company were attacked by the 12th S.S. Panzer Division, during Operation Epsom on 28 June 1944. He was 22 years old, and is buried at St. Manvieu War Cemetery, Cheux, France. He had been Mentioned in Despatches during his brief time in France, and was a well known Poet.

A slightly different account.

If a summary of known information is posted, it might ease the task of one of the experts should they decide to pick up on this.
Cheers, I think I part-wrote that :) (the website is by an old schoolmate of mine and I went out with the great-granddaughter of the matelot officer two entries above Lt Jones).
 
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I may be able to help. My father, Peter Harry Andrews, who passed away last year, left me every letter that he wrote to his family between 1940 ad 1946. He was the Senior Liaison Officer in the HQ of 159 Infantry Brigade of the 11th Armoured Division throughout the NW Europe campaign. David Jones was the 2nd LO and is mentioned several times in his letters, both during their training in England during the run up to D Day and during the few days before he was killed on 28 June. My father always visited his grave on subsequent post-war visits to Normandy. I have several photographs of David, including one of him taking a field bath a couple of days before he died. They shared a dug out "like peas in a pod" and he was clearly very affected by his death. He records that he had several exchanges of correspondence with his parents and mentions receiving the book of his poems.
 
I may be able to help. My father, Peter Harry Andrews, who passed away last year, left me every letter that he wrote to his family between 1940 ad 1946. He was the Senior Liaison Officer in the HQ of 159 Infantry Brigade of the 11th Armoured Division throughout the NW Europe campaign. David Jones was the 2nd LO and is mentioned several times in his letters, both during their training in England during the run up to D Day and during the few days before he was killed on 28 June. My father always visited his grave on subsequent post-war visits to Normandy. I have several photographs of David, including one of him taking a field bath a couple of days before he died. They shared a dug out "like peas in a pod" and he was clearly very affected by his death. He records that he had several exchanges of correspondence with his parents and mentions receiving the book of his poems.
That's fantastic! I was only talking about this to Lloyd @VonBlitzkrieg on Friday and he's unearthed a stack of information since his post, thanks to finding a close relative of David/Geraint (like a lot of Welshmen back then - and me now - he was commonly known by his last Christian name). He's even got a copy of his very last letter home, which I read on Friday. Curiously he's listed on daily casualty lists as 'SWB' rather than Mons, but that was presumably a mistake later corrected by the CWGC. Lloyd also managed to identify his role as a Bde LO and is just in the process of ordering copies of 159 Bde's war diary. Thanks very much for adding to this story and I'm sure Lloyd will be wanting to get in touch.

It's amazing how quickly this has snowballed in the last couple of weeks. I originally found his name in a list of local casualties and another friend of mine (who runs the website linked above) discovered that he was a reasonably well-known poet. I took cadets to visit and record his grave (along with all the other local casualties), but we couldn't find anything more out about him at the time. Lloyd has been living and working over there for some years now and had also tried to find out more information without any luck until trying again last month, when he hit the mother-lode (and again now, it seems). Thanks once again!
 
I may be able to help. My father, Peter Harry Andrews, who passed away last year, left me every letter that he wrote to his family between 1940 ad 1946. He was the Senior Liaison Officer in the HQ of 159 Infantry Brigade of the 11th Armoured Division throughout the NW Europe campaign. David Jones was the 2nd LO and is mentioned several times in his letters, both during their training in England during the run up to D Day and during the few days before he was killed on 28 June. My father always visited his grave on subsequent post-war visits to Normandy. I have several photographs of David, including one of him taking a field bath a couple of days before he died. They shared a dug out "like peas in a pod" and he was clearly very affected by his death. He records that he had several exchanges of correspondence with his parents and mentions receiving the book of his poems.
I forgot to ask, but do you have any details of the circumstances or location of his death? Given his regiment and date of death, we had originally assumed that he was killed along with most of 'C' Coy 3 Mons, who were cut off and surrounded in Mouen. However, Lloyd found the casualty list for 'C' Coy and his name wasn't on it, so he then did some more detective work and found him listed as an Inf Bde LO. We'd assumed 159 Bde, but your post absolutely confirms it.
 
I may be able to help. My father, Peter Harry Andrews, who passed away last year, left me every letter that he wrote to his family between 1940 ad 1946. He was the Senior Liaison Officer in the HQ of 159 Infantry Brigade of the 11th Armoured Division throughout the NW Europe campaign. David Jones was the 2nd LO and is mentioned several times in his letters, both during their training in England during the run up to D Day and during the few days before he was killed on 28 June. My father always visited his grave on subsequent post-war visits to Normandy. I have several photographs of David, including one of him taking a field bath a couple of days before he died. They shared a dug out "like peas in a pod" and he was clearly very affected by his death. He records that he had several exchanges of correspondence with his parents and mentions receiving the book of his poems.

Hello Ian,

I am currently in the process of conducting the research to write a book about Geraint. Can you please get in contact with me as I would love to please take a look at what you have relating to him. Thank you very much for your post.

Lloyd
 
Expert in which area?
There are a couple of guys on here who are extremely good at unearthing information. But I think in this case you’d be hard pressed to come up with a better source than the son of one of your subject’s friends and brother officers- who apparently has a photograph of your soldier poet taking a bath!
 
There are a couple of guys on here who are extremely good at unearthing information. But I think in this case you’d be hard pressed to come up with a better source than the son of one of your subject’s friends and brother officers- who apparently has a photograph of your soldier poet taking a bath!

Yes I am currently shaking with excitement and watching my inbox like a hawk!
 
I believe from what I recall my father telling me some years ago that he was killed while on a liaison task going forward from Tactical Brigade HQ which was in the orchard just next to the church in Mondrainville - on the home bank of the River Odon, opposite Hill 112. "Taurus Pursuant", the history of the 11th Armoured Division speaks of many snipers in the forrest on the right flank of the formation and my understanding was that he fell vicim to one of those. I believe my father told me that they heard he had been wounded and had subsequently died. At about the same time, the Brigade was going through a crisis of leadership as the Brigadier who had taken them to France had a breakdown and had to be replaced at the height of the battle - which may explain why some of the detail of the circumstances of his death might have been lost.

I am attaching copies of some of the photographs that my father had of David. The first was as one of a number of officers clustered on my father's motor bike outside the Brigade HQ which was in Weeting Hall in Norfolk (adjacent to the then Brandon battle area) in 1943. I have been working on a narrative of my father's life for the benefit of my family and attach extracts as they refer to David.

As I am sure you know, 3 Mons were particularly unfortunate in terms of the casualties they suffered, losing two commanding officers and eventually being withdrawn from 159 Brigade after their final action against fanatical soldiers from an NCO training school in April 1945.
 

Attachments

  • 31 Peter in the saddle outside Weeting Hal (David Jones far left, Harry Lloyd behind Peter, S...jpeg
    31 Peter in the saddle outside Weeting Hal (David Jones far left, Harry Lloyd behind Peter, S...jpeg
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  • 48 159 Brigade HQ officers June 1944 (Peter centre of back row).jpeg
    48 159 Brigade HQ officers June 1944 (Peter centre of back row).jpeg
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  • 49 David Jones taking a bath in the field June 1944.jpeg
    49 David Jones taking a bath in the field June 1944.jpeg
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  • Extract from Peter Andrews.docx
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I believe from what I recall my father telling me some years ago that he was killed while on a liaison task going forward from Tactical Brigade HQ which was in the orchard just next to the church in Mondrainville - on the home bank of the River Odon, opposite Hill 112. "Taurus Pursuant", the history of the 11th Armoured Division speaks of many snipers in the forrest on the right flank of the formation and my understanding was that he fell vicim to one of those. I believe my father told me that they heard he had been wounded and had subsequently died. At about the same time, the Brigade was going through a crisis of leadership as the Brigadier who had taken them to France had a breakdown and had to be replaced at the height of the battle - which may explain why some of the detail of the circumstances of his death might have been lost.

I am attaching copies of some of the photographs that my father had of David. The first was as one of a number of officers clustered on my father's motor bike outside the Brigade HQ which was in Weeting Hall in Norfolk (adjacent to the then Brandon battle area) in 1943. I have been working on a narrative of my father's life for the benefit of my family and attach extracts as they refer to David.

As I am sure you know, 3 Mons were particularly unfortunate in terms of the casualties they suffered, losing two commanding officers and eventually being withdrawn from 159 Brigade after their final action against fanatical soldiers from an NCO training school in April 1945.

Are you aware of which one Geraint is in the formal officers photo? I am finding it hard to make a match.

thanks

Lloyd
 
I believe from what I recall my father telling me some years ago that he was killed while on a liaison task going forward from Tactical Brigade HQ which was in the orchard just next to the church in Mondrainville - on the home bank of the River Odon, opposite Hill 112. "Taurus Pursuant", the history of the 11th Armoured Division speaks of many snipers in the forrest on the right flank of the formation and my understanding was that he fell vicim to one of those. I believe my father told me that they heard he had been wounded and had subsequently died. At about the same time, the Brigade was going through a crisis of leadership as the Brigadier who had taken them to France had a breakdown and had to be replaced at the height of the battle - which may explain why some of the detail of the circumstances of his death might have been lost.

I am attaching copies of some of the photographs that my father had of David. The first was as one of a number of officers clustered on my father's motor bike outside the Brigade HQ which was in Weeting Hall in Norfolk (adjacent to the then Brandon battle area) in 1943. I have been working on a narrative of my father's life for the benefit of my family and attach extracts as they refer to David.

As I am sure you know, 3 Mons were particularly unfortunate in terms of the casualties they suffered, losing two commanding officers and eventually being withdrawn from 159 Brigade after their final action against fanatical soldiers from an NCO training school in April 1945.

I have sent you my contact information in a private message. If you would permit I would love to speak with you on the phone when possible. Thank you
 
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Most likely location of HQ also same location 2nd Mons dug in.
 
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