b. 11/02/1831 Dublin. d. 18/12/1916 Eastbourne, Sussex.
Henry Mitchell Jones (1831-1916) was born in Dublin, Ireland on 11th February 1831. He entered the Army as an Ensign in the 18th Regiment of Foot in April 1849. In 1854, just prior to the Crimea, he transferred into the 7th Royal Fusiliers, and was promoted to Lieutenant.
At the Battle of Alma on 20th September 1854, Lieutenant Jones had a very lucky escape whilst carrying the Queen’s Colours. He was severely wounded by a gunshot wound to the lower jaw. He would carry the bullet in his jaw for over thirty years until he complained of toothache. He saw a doctor who told Jones about the bullet and removed it.
Jones, having recovered and returned to his Regiment, was promoted to Captain, and on the 7th June 1855, he would perform the deed that would lead to the award of the Victoria Cross. During the Siege of Sebastopol, he was serving with the storming party which took the Quarries. He then led his men in repelling the continual assaults by the enemy during the night. He was slightly wounded early in the evening but remained at his post until daylight.
Jones resigned his commission from the Army in June 1857 and entered the Diplomatic Service. On 25th September 1857, his Victoria Cross was gazetted in the London Gazette. Jones held various positions all over the world in the diplomatic service, including Consul to Fiji and the Tongan Islands in 1863, Consul-General at Tabreez in 1868, at Christiana in 1875, and at Philippopolis (now Plovdiv) in 1880. In 1889, he was appointed Minister Resident at Bangkok, and in 1895 he transferred to Minister Resident and Consul-General at Lima, Peru and at Quito, Ecuador. He retired from the Diplomatic Service in 1898, and returned to England to live in Eastbourne.
Jones died at his home, 25 Gildredge Road, Eastbourne, at the age of 85, on 18th December 1916. He was buried in Ocklynge Cemetery with full military honours. His Victoria Cross and other medals are held by the Army Museum of New South Wales, Victoria Barracks, Sydney, Australia.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: ARMY MUSEUM OF NSW, VICTORIA BARRACKS, SYDNEY, NSW.
BURIAL PLACE: OCKLYNGE CEMETERY, EASTBOURNE, SUSSEX.
Steve Davies – Henry Jones VC’s grave in Ocklynge Cemetery (recently cleaned)
Kevin Brazier – Cemetery Map.
Army Museum of New South Wales – Image of the Jones VC Medal Group.