b. 07/04/1905 Oddington, Oxfordshire. d. 27/10/1985 Ferndown, Dorset.
DATE AND PLACE OF GC ACTION: 06 - 11/1940 Malta.
Robert Llewellyn Jephson-Jones (1905-1985) was born on 7th April 1905 in Oddington, near Bicester, Oxfordshire, the son of Reverend James David and Margaret Noble Jones (nee Jephson). They had married in Exeter in 1903 and James had become Rector of St Mary’s, Oddington in 1904. Robert was the younger of two sons they had there. By September 1906 the family had moved to Caddington, Shropshire and by 1911 they were in Exeter. James passed away in 1913 at the age of 40, with Robert just 8.
Robert entered St Edmund’s Junior School in 1914 following the death of his father, and moved up to the Senior School. He passed 9th into the Royal Military College, Sandhurst in December 1922, winning a prize cadetship. After three years training, the London Gazette in 1925 announced that he as a Gentleman Cadet was to be commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment. He was posted to the Royal West African Field Force from 1930-1934 and was Adjutant of the 6th Nigeria Regiment from 1932-1934, transferring to the Royal Army Ordnance Corps (RAOC) in 1936.
He married Pansy Irene Sykes, and they had a daughter Angela. Following the outbreak of World War II, Robert (now a Captain) and Lieutenant William Eastman were posted to Malta, where they formed the only bomb disposal team on the island. Between June and November 1940, the two men defused and dismantled 275 bombs. By the end of November, a trained Royal Engineers Bomb Disposal Unit had been formed and took over from the two men. On Christmas Eve, 1940, the two men were awarded the George Cross for their actions on Malta. During the remainder of the war, Robert served in Palestine, Egypt, Sudan and Italy with the final rank of Brigadier. Due to his overseas postings, he didn’t receive his GC at Buckingham Palace until December 1944.
After the war he continued his work in Ordnance including becoming Deputy Director of Ordnance Services, Scottish Command 1954-1957 and finally Commandant, Central Ordnance Depot, Branston 1957-1960. He then retired with his family to the south coast. Robert died on 27th October 1985 in Ferndown, Dorset. He was cremated at Bournemouth Crematorium and his ashes were interred with his wife (who had died six months before him) in All Saints Churchyard, West Parley, Dorset. Jephson-Jones’ medals including his GC, 1939-45 Star, Africa Star, Italy Star, Defence Medal 1939-45, War Medal 1939-45, 1953 QEII Coronation Medal, and 1977 QEII Silver Jubilee Medal are part of the Ashcroft Collection at the Imperial War Museum.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: LORD ASHCROFT GALLERY, IMPERIAL WAR MUSEUM, LONDON.
BURIAL PLACE: ALL SAINTS CHURCHYARD, WEST PARLEY, DORSET.
ASHES INTERRED WITH THOSE OF HIS WIFE.
Picture - Kevin Brazier