b. 24/01/1832 Liverpool. d. 29/05/1920 Finchampstead, Berkshire.
Alfred Stowell Jones (1832-1920) was born at 3, Huskisson Street, Liverpool on 24th January 1832, the son of Archdeacon John Jones and his wife, Hannah, daughter of John Pares, of Hopwell Hall, Derbyshire, and founder of Pares’ Bank, Leicester. He was educated at Liverpool College and at Sandhurst, and entered the 9th Lancers on 9th July 1852, as a Cornet, by purchase. He became a Lieutenant on 21st September 1855.
It is said that on the creation of the Victoria Cross by Royal Warrant on 29th January 1856, that Lieutenant Alfred Stowell Jones of the 9th Lancers was determined to do all that he could to be awarded the medal.
He served throughout the Siege of Delhi as Deputy Assistant Quartermaster General of the Cavalry. In the first engagement on 8th June 1857, at Budli-ka-Serai, Jones, leading the right troop of the 4th Squadron, 9th Lancers, which was galloping in line after a cloud of dust which had been pointed out as a Staff Officer as enemy guns, saw a 9 pounder with six horses and drivers on the left flank of his squadron, galloping to the left front. He pulled up short and when clear of the ranks, started after the gun on his horse, while the squadron kept on its course after the cloud of dust. The six Mutineer drivers kept flogging their horses, until Jones came alongside the off-wheeler and cut his rider over the shoulders, whereupon the driver fell between the wheel horses, and clinging to his bridle, stopped the whole team. Regimental Sergeant Major Thonger arrived and attacked the drivers of the four lead gun-horses. The drivers all fell and were killed, while Jones was engaged in getting ready to render the gun useless. Jones then rode off with the captured gun. His actions were described by Colonel Hope Grant as “a well-conceived act, gallantly executed” in his recommendation for the Victoria Cross. Jones remarked that “it is questionable if the VC does not interfere with discipline, which might have demanded a trial by court-martial if I had been riding a slower horse, and so had failed to reach my prey.”
Jones was awarded the Mutiny Medal with two clasps, promoted to Captain and Brevet Major, and thrice mentioned in despatches, before the announcement of the award of his Victoria Cross in the London Gazette on 18th June 1858. Jones was actually unaware of his award of the VC, and the first he knew about it was when he was in Leeds, teaching recruits with the 18th Hussars, when he received an order to go to Portsmouth on 2nd August 1858 for a parade at Southsea Common where Queen Victoria would be presenting 12 VCs.
Jones would marry Emily, youngest daughter of John Back, of Aldershot Place, Surrey, and they went on to have five sons and a daughter. Sadly, one of their sons, a Lieutenant in the 11th Hussars, was killed in a polo accident in India in 1895. Another son, Lieutenant Tertius Jones was killed in action in Meerut in 1896. A third son, Captain Percy Jones was killed in action at Samara, Mesopotamia on 2nd November 1917 whilst serving in the 13th Lancers. Their only daughter, married Major General Arthur Watson, son of Sir John Watson VC, a neighbour of the Jones’ family when they settled in Finchampstead, Berkshire.
Jones retired from active service as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1872, and became a Civil Engineer, specialising in sanitation and hygiene. He would win a prize from the Royal Agricultural Society for the best managed sewage farm. From 1896-1912, Jones was manager of the Sewage Works of the 1st Army Corps at Aldershot. He retired in 1912, and lived in retirement in Finchampstead. Alfred Stowell Jones VC died on 29th May 1920 aged 88 and was buried in St James’ Parish Churchyard in Finchampstead. He is also named on his eldest son’s grave which is also in St James’ Churchyard. His medals are in private ownership.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: NOT PUBLICLY HELD.
BURIAL PLACE: ST JAMES CHURCH, FINCHAMPSTEAD, BERKSHIRE.
Medals (replicas) at 9th/12th Lancers RHQ
Abercromby Square, Liverpool