Loftus William Jones

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Commander Loftus William Jones, V.C., (13 November, 1879 – 31 May, 1916) was an officer in the Royal Navy.

Life & Career

Born in Southsea, the son of Loftus F. Jones, Jones gained five months' time on passing out of Britannia. His first appointment was to Empress of India on 15 January, 1896 in which he would serve in the Channel Squadron, but this was cancelled in favour of Royal Sovereign. After one year he went to Australia, first in Orlando and then Royal Arthur.[1]

Jones was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant on 1 April, 1902.[2]

After Captain Cowan noted in early 1909 that Jones needed "big ship experience", Jones was appointed to Albemarle on 8 February, 1910.

Jones was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-Commander on 1 April, 1910. He was appointed in command of the destroyer Ghurka on 15 December, 1910.[3]

In April, 1911, Ghurka damaged a torpedo and Jones was admonished that he should have seen that all tests were properly conducted.[4]

On 20 December, 1913, Jones was appointed in command of the destroyer Linnet. Recommended by Captain Tyrwhitt in March, 1914, Jones was promoted to the rank of Commander on 30 June, 1914.[5]

Jones was appointed in command of the destroyer Shark on 9 October, 1914.[6]

Jones was killed aboard Shark in action with the Fourth Destroyer Flotilla at the Battle of Jutland after she was disabled and overtaken by the onrushing German fleet.[7]

A posthumous V.C. was awarded Jones, gazetted 6 March, 1917, "the full facts [having] only now been ascertained."

On the afternoon of the 31st May, 1916, during the action, Commander Jones in H.M.S. "Shark", Torpedo Boat Destroyer, led a division of Destroyers to attack the enemy Battle Cruiser Squadron. In the course of this attack a shell hit the "Shark's" bridge, putting the steering gear out of order, and very shortly afterwards another shell disabled the main engines, leaving the vessel helpless. The Commanding Officer of another Destroyer, seeing the "Shark's" plight, came between her and the enemy and offered assistance, but was warned by Commander Jones not to run the risk of being almost certainly sunk in trying to help him. Commander Jones, though wounded in the leg, went aft to help connect and man the after wheel. Meanwhile the forecastle gun with its crew had been blown away, and the same fate soon afterwards befell the after gun and crew. Commander Jones then went to the midship and the only remaining gun, and personally assisted in keeping it in action. All this time the "Shark" was subjected to very heavy fire from enemy light cruisers and destroyers at short range. The gun's crew of the midship gun was reduced to three, of whom an Able Seaman was soon badly wounded in the leg. A few minutes later Commander Jones was hit by a shell, which took off his leg above the knee, but he continued to give orders to his gun's crew, while a Chief Stoker improvised a tourniquet round his thigh. Noticing that the Ensign was not properly hoisted, he gave orders for another to be hoisted. Soon afterwards, seeing that the ship could not survive much longer, and as a German Destroyer was closing, he gave orders for the surviving members of the crew to put on lifebelts. Almost immediately after this order had been given, the "Shark" was struck by a torpedo and sank. Commander Jones was unfortunately not amongst the few survivors from the "Shark" who were picked up by a neutral vessel in the night.

Jone's widow, Margaret Annie (née Dampney) received the award at Buckingham Palace on 31 March, 1917.[8]

See Also

Naval Appointments
Preceded by
Ernest Stevenson
Captain of H.M.S. Success
18 Feb, 1905[9][10] – 29 Jan, 1908[11]
Succeeded by
Charles C. Dix
Preceded by
Denis G. Thynne
Captain of H.M.S. Mermaid
22 Jan, 1907[12][13] – 27 Feb, 1907[14]
Succeeded by
Charles J. Wintour
Preceded by
Charles C. Dix
Captain of H.M.S. Chelmer
29 Jan, 1908[15][16] – 8 Feb, 1910[17]
Succeeded by
Ernest L. Cardale
Preceded by
Herbert N. Hunter
Captain of H.M.S. Ghurka
15 Dec, 1910[18][19] – 20 Dec, 1913[20]
Succeeded by
Hubert E. Gore-Langton
Preceded by
New Command
Captain of H.M.S. Linnet
20 Dec, 1913[21][22] – 9 Oct, 1914[23]
Succeeded by
James F. Houstoun
Preceded by
Harold V. Dundas
Captain of H.M.S. Shark
9 Oct, 1914[24] – 31 May, 1916
Succeeded by
Vessel Lost

Footnotes

  1. Jones Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45/161. f. 165.
  2. Jones Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45/161. f. 165.
  3. Jones Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45/161. f. 165.
  4. Jones Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45/161. f. 165.
  5. Jones Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45/161. f. 165.
  6. Jones Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45/161. f. 165.
  7. Jones Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45/161. f. 165.
  8. Jones Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45/161. f. 165.
  9. Jones Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45/161. f. 165.
  10. The Navy List. (March, 1907). p. 378.
  11. Jones Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45/161. f. 165.
  12. Jones Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45/161. f. 165.
  13. The Navy List. (March, 1907). p. 378.
  14. Jones Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45/161. f. 165.
  15. Jones Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45/161. f. 165.
  16. The Navy List. (January, 1910). p. 292.
  17. Jones Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45/161. f. 165.
  18. Jones Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45/161. f. 165.
  19. The Navy List. (July, 1913). p. 319.
  20. Jones Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45/161. f. 165.
  21. Jones Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45/161. f. 165.
  22. The Navy List. (September, 1914). p. 348.
  23. Jones Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45/161. f. 165.
  24. The Navy List. (January, 1915). p. 380a. The Navy List consistently say 1912, but I think it is 1914, as he first appears with Shark in the November 1914 edition.