b. 30/04/1897 Lewisham, London. d. 21/05/1916 Vimy, France.
Richard Basil Brandram Jones (1897-1916) was born at 7 Honor Oak Rise, Camberwell, London on 30th April 1897. His father was Henry Thomas Brandram Jones, manager director of Brandram Bros of London, manufacturers of white lead, saltpetre and sulphuric acid. Richard’s mother was Caroline Emma nee Gray and his parents married on 4th September 1894 at the Parish Church, Hove, Sussex, and they had four children with Richard the second eldest. His siblings were Humphrey Francis Brandram (born in 1904), Margaret Gray (born in 1896) and Ursula Mary (born 1907).
Richard was educated at Dulwich College Preparatory School and Dulwich College from 1909-1914. He was Captain of the Dulwich Gymnastics Team and a keen member of the Officer Training Corps. He won the Lane Challenge Cup for the highest score in the Dulwich shooting team in the Ashburton Shield competition at Bisley and also won the Lady Hamilton Challenge Cup and the Mrs Grey Cup.
Richard was commissioned on 17th October 1914 and promoted Lieutenant on 26th November. He became the Battalion Sniping Officer, having been a Bisley shot. He went to France on 16th September 1915 and was slightly wounded on 12th December.
On 21st May 1916, at the Broadmarsh Crater, Vimy, France, he was holding with his platoon a crater recently captured from the enemy. About 7.30 P.M. the enemy exploded a mine forty yards to his right, and at the same time put a heavy barrage of fire on our trenches, thus isolating the Platoon. They then attacked in overwhelming numbers. Lt. Jones kept his men together, steadying them by his fine example, and shot no less than fifteen of the enemy as they advanced, counting them aloud as he did so to cheer his men. When his ammunition was expended he took a bomb, but was shot through the head while getting up to throw it. His splendid courage had so encouraged his men that when they had no more ammunition or bombs they threw stones and ammunition boxes at the enemy till only nine of the platoon were left. Finally they were compelled to retire.
Jones’ body was not recovered after the action, and he is commemorated on the Arras Memorial to the Missing, France. As he never married, his VC was presented to his parents by King George V at Buckingham Palace on 20th December 1916.
In addition to his VC, he was awarded the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal 1914-20 and Victory Medal 1914-19. The VC is held by Dulwich College. He is also named on the Dulwich College Memorial, and the Howard-Jones Challenge Cup for rifle shooting at Dulwich College is named after him.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: DULWICH COLLEGE , LONDON.
BURIAL PLACE: NO KNOWN GRAVE - ON ARRAS MEMORIAL. BAY 13
Lewisham Shopping Centre (Derek Walker)
Arras Memorial to the Missing - April 2017
War Illustrated, 26th August 1916
Royal Yacht and Naval Club, Portsmouth