Jones family history

Robert Miles Christopher Jones (1922-2012) (father)

Born on 9 July 1922, he was by many years the youngest of eight and well looked after as a child by his elder brothers and sisters.

He made a wooden bench at school (a right-angled seat and back set at a tilt within an upright frame, a most comfortable position to recline) which was placed in front of the beehives at Brook End, Kingsland (1932-36).  The idea was that when he and his brother(s) got tired working in the garden, they could sit down and watch the bees work.   Later he made a canoe at school, which was transported to Ross on Wye by train, but it took a very long time to paddle it downstream to Whitchurch, where the family was then living, because of the numerous bends in the river.

He joined the RAF straight after leaving Haileybury School in 1940 and flew reconnaissance, after training in England and Rhodesia.   He qualified to wear his Flying Badge on 4 November 1941.   His pilot's logbooks show he served in the Middle East, Egypt, India, North Africa, Italy and, after the end of the war, Germany, flying people to the war crimes trials in Nuremburg.   By strange coincidence he was based at Poulton on the Eaton estate in Cheshire from April-October 1944, to which he was to return.   He had numerous hilarious and less than hilarious experiences, which he talked about occasionally.

Pasted in his logbook is a copy of a letter dated 27 November 43 from Lt. Col. E.T. Williams, General Staff Intelligence, Headquarters, Eighth Army to Group Captain G. Millington, D.F.C., Commanding 285 Wing, D.A.F. It says: My dear Geoffrey, The recent captured document which says 'the enemy takes good pictures' (8 Army Intelligence Summary 610 Appendix B) prompts me to let you know that it is not by any means only the enemy who appreciates the work of 285 Wing.   The high standard and regularity of the air photographs, the persistence and skill of the pilots in both Tac R and Ph R go a long way to provide the plan on which 8 Army fights its battles and the defence overprints used by the gunners, the infantry and the tank commanders as well as for selecting the targets so brilliantly pulverised by the bombers and fighter-bombers in the last few days.   We are very grateful. 285 Wing is doing an important job and it is doing it as well as ever, which is saying a lot.  We have grown used to having the best and we can rely on you always to supply it.   Yours sincerely, Bill.

After demob in 1946 he applied to Clare College, Cambridge, but there were so many ex-service applicants that he was advised to come back a year later.   He didn't want to waste a year and went to the Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester, instead.   He was tempted to accept a Government invitation to farm in Rhodesia but his brother Colin dissuaded him.   Instead he went to Cheshire and helped out on the farm of Jack Temple MP, who introduced him to the Grosvenor estate at Eaton.   He worked for the second to the sixth Dukes of Westminster as Agricultural Agent, managing estates in England and Wales.   He retired in 1984, after Colin died, to look after Langstone.

When he started work on the estate he lodged at Pulford but was invited to create a batchelor pad within Morris Oak, between Eccleston and Eaton Hall, built by John Douglas in about 1875 for the upper servants including the Duke's chef.   I and my sister were born there.   My parents moved to Lumley House, Eccleston, before my brother was born.   In 1971 my father was invited to move to Eccleston Paddocks, built by Douglas in about 1883 for Cecil Parker, the first Duke's agent, after the death of the widow of Major Basil Kerr, the second Duke's agent (see and

He married Sandra Mary Beavan on 6 June 1952 at St Mary's, Halkyn, Flintshire.   Her father, Lt Col William Franklin Beavan, had bought Halkyn Castle in 1938.   (See built by the Grosvenor family in the 1820s in order to attend the Holywell Races and extended in 1886.)   He was born on 10 September 1898 at Nannerch Hall, Flintshire, went to Sedburgh School 1911-15 and Royal Military College Sandhurst 1915-16, served in The Buffs (East Kent Regiment) during the First World War, was wounded and taken prisoner at the Battle of Cambrai, November 1917.   After repatriation he served in Ireland until he resigned in 1919 but stayed on the Regular Army Reserve of Officers until 1935.   He married Dorothy Esme Bentley Mellor in Chester Cathedral on 8 October 1925.   She was born in Quetta, Baluchistan, India on 18 April 1903 (her father, Clare Bentley Mellor, was a member of the Council for India and Secretary to the Government Public Works Department India Service of Engineers), was educated at Eastbourne and went back to India.   They met in Zanzibar in 1924 when she was travelling back to England with her parents and Bill and his younger brother John (Sudan Political Service), who had been on three months' safari on foot, big game hunting in East Africa, joined the boat.   She died on 24 January 1977 and was buried at Halkyn.

Like his father, William Franklin Beavan, and grandfather, John Beavan, Bill became an estate agent in Liverpool.   He was appointed a Justice of the Peace in Flintshire in 1945 and served as Chairman of the Northop and Connah's Quay Bench from 1955-67; a Deputy Lieutenant of Flintshire in 1953, later of Clwyd (High Sheriff in 1954-55); elected to the Select Society of Auctioneers in 1959; President of the Chartered Auctioneers & Estate Agents Institute in 1960-61; and awarded an OBE for public and political services in Flintshire in 1960.   He was a very good shot (with a syndicate of six guns he had a pheasant shoot in the woods round Halkyn Castle and nearby: and he often killed snipe on Flint marsh with a right-and-left) and fisherman, particularly with a dry fly.   He died on 20 December 1985 and was buried at Halkyn.

Sandra was born on 31 October 1928 at Upton Cross, Chester.   She was appointed a Justice of the Peace in the City of Chester and County Commissioner for the newly formed Girl Guide county of Cheshire West.   She died on 27 September 1986, after suffering from recurring cancer over many years, and was buried at Llangarron on 1 October.   Chris died on 6 November 2012 and was buried at Llangarron on 15 November.   They had three children: Richard Christopher Bentley, born on 22 March 1953; Susan Mary Jennifer, born on 18 May 1954; and David William Franklin, born on 18 August 1956.

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