Francis Jones (Welsh historian)

Francis Jones (Welsh historian)

Major Francis Jones (b. 5 July 1908, Trefin, Pembrokeshire - d. 14 December 1993, Carmarthen) CVO, TD, DL, FSA, MA, KStJ was an author, archivist, historian and officer of arms.

Early and private life

Born in Pembrokeshire, Francis Jones was educated at Fishguard County School, and eventually became a schoolmaster. He was appointed archivist at the Haverfordwest Records Office in 1931, about the same time as he married Ethel Charles, with whom he had four children. Jones died in December 1993 and was buried at the Church of St Benet Paul's Wharf, which has been the religious home of the College of Arms since 1555.

Military career

Jones was commissioned into 4th Battalion, The Welch Regiment, but was subsequently transferred to the Pembroke Yeomanry. He entered active service in 1939, and later took part in the North African landings and Battle of Beja, for which he was mentioned in despatches. He later fought in the Sicilian campaign and landing, then after landing at Salerno fought in the Italian campaign up to the Battle of Monte Cassino as second in command of the regiment. He was subsequently posted as a General Staff Officer to the War Cabinet Offices, Historical Section, where he wrote the Official War Record for the Sicilian and Italian Campaigns. He was later appointed Battery Commander in the Surrey Yeomanry (Queen Mary's Regiment).

Heraldic career

In 1963 the office of Wales Herald of Arms Extraordinary was revived, in anticipation of the investiture of Prince Charles as Prince of Wales, and Francis Jones appointed. (The last recorded reference to a Wales Herald was in the late fourteenth century.) In this capacity he was on the Earl Marshal's staff for the State funeral of Winston Churchill, and officiated at the investiture of the Prince of Wales in 1969. Over the next 30 years he participated in State ceremonial with the officers of arms in ordinary of the College of Arms on occasions such as the State Opening of Parliament and the Garter service.

Writing career

Jones was a prolific writer with several hundred articles, essays and books published. He also appeared on BBC radio and television programs.

His main published works include
* "The Holy Wells of Wales" (1954)
* "God bless the Prince of Wales: four essays for investiture year, 1969." (1969) ISBN 0-9500534-0-6
* "The Princes and principality of Wales" (1969) ISBN 0-900768-20-7
* "Historic Carmarthenshire Homes and their Families" (1987) ISBN 0-906972-02-7
* "A catalogue of Welsh manuscripts in the College of Arms" (1988) ISBN 0-9500207-9-6
* "Historic houses of Pembrokeshire and their families" (1996) ISBN 0-9528344-0-5
* "Treasury of historic Pembrokeshire " (1998) ISBN 0-9528344-2-1
* "Historic Cardiganshire Homes and their families" (2000) ISBN 0-9528344-48
* "Treasury of historic Carmarthenshire" (2002) ISBN 0-9528344-6-4

Honours and appointments

Jones received the Territorial Decoration with three clasps for his military service. He was created a Commander of the Royal Victorial Order and Knight of the Order of St John. He was also a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and received an Honorary Master of Arts degree from the University of Wales.

Among the many other positions he held and societies to which he belonged were:
* Deputy Lieutenant Dyfed
* Vice-President Dyfed Local Council
* Governor of the National Library of Wales
* Carmarthenshire County Archivist 1958-1973
* Member of Gorsedd
* Member of the Historical Society of the Church in Wales
* President of the Cambrian Archaeological Society
* Carmarthenshire History Association
* Pembrokeshire Record Society
* Croeso ’69 Committee
* Académie Internationale d'Héraldique
* Heraldry Society
* Honorable Society of Cymmrodorion
* Honorary Member of Mark Twain Society, USA

External links

* [ West Wales Genealogy]
* [ Archives Network Wales]
* [ Cardiganshire Family History Society]

NAME=Jones, Francis
SHORT DESCRIPTION=Historian, Author, Officer of Arms
PLACE OF BIRTH=Trefin,Pembrokeshire
DATE OF DEATH=December, 1993

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