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Messages - emills111

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World War One / Re: Air Chief Marshal Sir John Whitworth-Jones
« on: Tuesday 20 November 12 00:39 GMT (UK)  »
I was very interested to read about the details and discussion of the military career of AVM Sir John Whitworth-Jones.  He was a distant cousin of mine and he - and his equally distinguished brother Sir Felix (Aylmer) Jones - were well known to me as a child.  Known to us all as Tweedle-dum and Tweedle-dee!  I had no idea that he started his career as a bugler!!  Both brothers were splendidly eccentric, so I suppose I am not particularly surprised.

What you have not noted is that John and Nan's only child, their son, Michael Edward Whitworth Jones (b 6 Sep 1925) was awarded the DFC in June 1953 whilst on secondment from the RAF to the RAAF in the Korean war.  Tragically, only a month later in July 1953, he was killed in a flying accident.  when the Venom jet fighter he was flying crashed at Holbeach, Lincolnshire.  He was flying from the RAF station at West Raynham Norfolk, and was taking part in a rocket firing exercise over a range near Holbeach.

Family rumour has it that Michael was taking part in a spy mission over the Baltic. 

Felix and his wife Cecily had two sons and a daughter; one son died in childhood.  The other, Captain Ian Russell Aylmer (Jones) was killed in an accident during WWII.  His obituary from The Times is enough to see that the nation was robbed of a rare theatrical talent.

The Times April 8 1943
Personal Tribute
Lieutenant I Aylmer Jones

Once again the ruthless hand of war has taken from us the joy of watching talent and promise bear fruit. Ian Aylmer, tragically killed in an accident, had inherited much of the talent of Felix Aylmer, his father, and of his mother, better known as Cecily Byrne. As a child he appeared with Ellen Terry and also in a children's performance of the Young Visiters. After leaving Blundell's he studied at the RADA and made his first professional appearance in Frolic Wind at the Royalty. He took part in the Malvern Festival of 1934; returned to London to understudy John Gielgud in Romeo and Juliet; then, after a season with the Gate Theatre in Dublin, came back to the Westminster to play Darrell Blake in the Moon and the Yellow River. In January 1939 he joined the Windsor Repertory Company, where he did increasingly good work. Just before the war he married Anne Payne Cook, the gifted scenic artist at the Windsor Theatre. The first of the company to go into war service, he left Windsor in December 1939 and was commissioned to the R.U.R. in the spring of 1940. After some time in Ireland, he was latterly stationed in England. Creative artist to his finger tips, Ian played his part in the Army with the same keen intelligence and enthusiasm that characterized his work on the stage and his cricket with the Thespids and the Incogniti. His voice and looks and his alert wit fitted him for the theatre, and the theatre was his world, a world the poorer for the cutting short of so much promise. Though acting was the profession of his choice, his writing showed a genuine talent, and later on might well have claimed the major share of his energies. Verse, in particular, came easily and naturally to him. The following lines, written when he was 18, free as they are from any sense of foreboding, have a special poignancy for his friends today:
"Look long, O youth, upon those first fair plains!
The dawning sun of comprehension sweeps
Illusions and the morning mist away.
Perhaps the mist in age's evening creeps
And magic moves the blood in older veins".

Although John and Felix had three other brothers, none of them had any children so this distinguished family has now died out. 

As a postcript, their grandfather, William Frederick Foxcroft Jones 1821-1880 was the first Adjutant of the Oxford University Rifle Volunteers and I have written a short biography of him on - he was the younger brother of my great Grandfather, distinguished opera singer Henry Whitworth Jones 1817-1881.

With good wishes,
Elizabeth Mills

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