7 June 1931 – 11 October 2021
This is an extract from George’s Obituary provided by Celebrant Jo Crofts from information provided by George’s family.
George Henry Albert Jones was born on 7th June 1931 to Leslie and Alice Jones in Aldershot, Hampshire, England; the home of the British Army.
His father, Leslie, was a Sapper in the British Army and was stationed in Hong Kong from about 1937 and that is where George’s early schooling took place. When Hong Kong fell, in 1941, his father was taken as a prisoner of war and remained so for the whole of the war. The wives and children which included George’s Mum and the two boys were evacuated from Hong Kong via the Philippines to Sydney. George remained in Australia until he returned to England in 1946 via India.
On their return to England, George didn’t want to go back to school and went to Army Apprentice School in Aborfield. George’s enlistment commenced on the 3rd of September 1946 to the General Service Corps and Royal Engineers. George, on the completion of engagement, was discharged from the army on the 27th June 1972 from the Royal Engineers after 25 years 299 days. His rank on discharge was a Warrant Officer Class 2.
His Assessment of Military Conduct and Character states “his military conduct was exemplary; throughout his 23 years’ service Jones has received excellent reports. He is enthusiastic, intelligent, hardworking and loyal. He has a pleasant and cheerful manner which he hides a forceful and determined personality able to overcome difficulties and persevere in adversity. He has gained the respect of both superiors and subordinates. He has been a Warrant Officer for the last five years.”
His assessment of proficiency as a tradesman and ability to supervise, states “Jones main trade has been Combat Engineer and as such has reached the pinnacle in becoming an instructor at the Royal School of Military Engineering where he has taught the types, methods of construction and design of military bridging. He is also a qualified driver and parachutist. He trained initially as a vehicle mechanic and has supervised men of driver and workshop trades. He is an excellent instructor with natural supervising qualities. He has had world wide experience. An outstanding manager.”
During his time in the army, besides in England, he served in the Middle East Land Forces, British Army of the Rhine, Cypress, Jordan and Singapore.
George, a Lance Corporal in the Parachute Brigade, Royal Engineers, met Irene Parvin in Fayed, Egypt in 1951. Irene was serving with the Women’s Royal Army Corps when they both attended an engagement party of Rene’s good friend Toni to Len. At the time there were about 200 girls and 80,000 troops, so George did well to convince Rene to go out with him, especially when she had a boyfriend back in England. Rene said she thought it was the sheer cheek of him and the fact he was very good looking that attracted her to him. His winning charm won out and while in Egypt they chose Rene’s engagement ring.
Rene was demobbed from Egypt back to England, in January 1954 and George followed in July. George’s first port of call was Rene’s Mum’s house, where he sought permission to marry her daughter, before rushing off to meet Rene on the way back from her work. George’s father convinced them to marry as soon as possible as he stated he would not get leave for a further 18 months. They married the following month, at St Richard’s Church in Chichester, England and George presented Rene with a crucifix necklace, which he had chosen as a wedding gift. He referred fondly to Rene as “Parv”, a shortened version of her maiden name and duly had it engraved on the inside of her wedding ring.
Their first child Lesley was born in Aldershot in 1958- and 14-months later Rene gave birth to their second daughter Kerry. George was transferred to Germany two weeks after Kerry’s birth and Rene had to fly solo looking after a newborn and as yet toddler, for six months prior to her and the children joining George. Both Rene and George came from military families, so this transient lifestyle was not foreign for them.
In 1972 having retired from the army, George, Rene and the two girls emigrated to Australia. It was always their intention from the time they were married to settle in Australia.
On arrival in Australia, George was unemployed for six weeks before gaining work as a proof-reader for the West Australian Newspaper. Here he remained until his retirement in 1994 aged 63 years.
Army life had given George a chance to travel but his love of travel didn’t end at the end of his army career. George and Rene travelled extensively returning to England to catch up with family and friends, to South Africa on a number of occasions, North America, New Zealand and completed train journeys on the East Orient and Indian Pacific. 2015 was the last time George ventured overseas and this was a special trip on his bucket list; to sail through the Panama Canal. For a time, they also owned a caravan and completed their trip around Australia in two stages. Locally they also enjoyed trips with a caravan club they belonged to. Despite these opportunities, Rene felt that George always missed the army life.
In general, George was fortunate enough to enjoy good health. His major concern was issues with his hips caused by his parachuting days and as a result he underwent 4 hip replacements, with one involving severe infection. He bounced back from each of these surgeries.
Unfortunately, George was in and out of hospital on a number of occasions over the last couple of years and his final admission became a fight he couldn’t win.
George, may you Rest in Peace, knowing that you have provided well for your family. Rene will be well looked after by Leslie and the many friends you and she have made over your 67 years together.
May George Rest in Peace and Rise in Glory
Ubique – Utrinque Paratus