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Showing posts from October, 2010

Another Letter from Rifleman Jones

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This letter was written in November 1943.  By then, Dad had exchanged the heat and flies of the desert for the mud of southern Italy.  This is the longest letter we have, and in it he writes a brief "history" of his time in the 8th Army.

Alps Summer 2010 Part 2

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The previous day, the ascent of the Allalinhorn had seemed like a big deal. Now in retrospect it seemed like a doddle - a quick jaunt up from the top of the mountain train. Our thoughts turned to plans for the rest of the week.

This first week was supposed to be an acclimatisation week, so we wanted to get progressively higher, and in particular to spend nights in huts at increasing altitudes. But we were aware that Alpine weather is a fickle thing, so we also wanted to make the most of the good weather we were experiencing.

I came up with a plan: to climb two more 4000m peaks before the end of the week -  the Weissmies and the Nadelhorn. It seemed very energetic, but I was expecting the weather to get in the way at some point and impose some rest.

After lunch on Monday we caught the local free bus down to Saas Almagell, and set off up towards the Almageller Hut in blazing sunshine.  We climbed about 300m up the right-hand side of a gorge, only to discover that the route across from …

Letters from Rifleman Jones

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My father, Trevor Jones, was born in 1920 in Mid Wales, and served in the King's Royal Rifle Corps from 1941 until the end of the second world war. He died  12 years ago.

I had known for years about the existence of a collection of letters written by my father in 1943 to his sister Nancy, but it was only recently that I actually got hold of them. I have been scanning them as carefully as I can, then putting them back into storage.

Here's one written in May 1943, the day after the end of hostilities in North Africa:


Dear Nancy, Gwilym and Wendy,

I am very sorry I have been so long in writing, but I haven't had much chance until now.

Yesterday was a very eventful day for it was the day upon which the ceasefire sounded in Africa and believe me everyone was glad.  The day before the Germans decided that they didn't want their guns or ammunition any longer so they decided we should have them and they first of all slung over all the shells they had left and then they threw the …