He was not just another Jones

In this latest anecdote from Barry there’s a lot of Jones involved and some Welsh telepathy to boot…

Barry Edge writes…

This family anecdote tells of a two mates reunited. Their friendship was formed in a conflict zone, but by the mid 1960s they lost contact with each other. (In the above photo my brother Thomas is standing centre, back row).

He was not just another Jones

At the end of WWII Thomas, my eldest brother, with many other army personnel was assigned to the Palestine Police. In his particular ‘Red Beret’ unit were six Welshmen named Jones – a little tricky when it came to roll call because family names were used. However, the ever pragmatic boys from Wales solved the problem when suggesting birthplace be used instead. Thereafter the six were identified as Cardiff, Swansea, Bridgend, Pontypridd, Llanelli and Merthyr.

Being a small unit friendships were easily formed – especially so in a conflict zone, but when it was discovered my brother was also an excellent tenor he was a double hit with the boys from Cymru – with one particular Jones friendship continuing into civilian life.

By 1948 all British troops were being withdrawn from Palestine because keeping any semblance of peace was considered beyond the pale consequence of an increasing conflict between Palestinians and Jews.

Thomas was demobbed in 1949 and shortly after in 1950 came ‘Downunder with his best mate George Rhodes – a sabbatical of sorts before settling back into normal life. George returned to England to help his dad run the family business; Thomas met and married a girl from Western Australia.

As promised, my brother and his mate from the ‘Valleys kept in touch by mail. Sadly, by the mid 1960s they lost contact with each other. When returning to the ‘Old Dart’ for a sabbatical in 1968 Thomas was determined to call by and say G’day. A simply quest, yes?

From previous communications Thomas remembered his mate lived somewhere in the Conwy, so he knew he would be asking for help from the locals. He called into a village pub and was told that Jones lived somewhat isolated ‘Up the valley’. When asking them to ‘phone to let him know Thomas Edge was here to visit the response was “He’s not on the ‘phone and rarely comes down to the village.” Armed with mud map directions he drove up a narrow winding road to a lone cottage on the side of the valley.

According to Thomas a lady met him at the front door but without asking why he was there turned and called into the cottage that a man with a suntan was standing outside. To the day he crossed over he was still bemused by what happened next and, at a stretch, put it down to mental telepathy. Almost immediately the reply from the bathroom was… “That’ll be Thomas Edge.”

When later asking how he knew it was him, Jones winked and said ‘I just did’.

See you later…

Barry Edge
Western Australia
September 7, 2018

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