Ajax Veterans Street Dedication: Jonesridge Drive
- Media Type:
- Street Name: Jonesridge Drive
Name of Veteran: Ken Jones
Ship Served: HMS Ajax
Date of Service on Ship: August 11, 1945 to August 26, 1947
Year of Visit/Dedication September 27, 2009
Veteran or Family Visit Ken Jones
Veteran of the Battle of the River Plate: No
Died at Battle: No
Ken Jones volunteered in the Royal Navy when he was 17 years old. He reported to HMS Royal Arthur, Skegness on March 13, 1945. On arrival he was given the choice of being a cook or a stoker and he chose the latter. He became a 2nd Class Stoker as he was more inclined to engineering. He was given a medical check-up, a pair of size 11 boots and spent two weeks preparing for his naval life. In February 1945 Ken transferred to HMS Duke, Malvern Hills, Gloucestershire. Along with others, he underwent basic training including marching, rifle drill and firing and lots of physical training.
In April 1945 Ken transferred to HMS Imperious, Devonport Naval Base, for engineering training. He trained on two large First World War Battleships, HMS Revenge and HMS Resolution. Ken states that this is where sailors were really taught to be men. At 5’10’’ Ken continually had to ‘duck’ to miss the overhead pipes as he walked through the ship. While Ken did not serve during the Battle of the River Plate, he did serve on the HMS Ajax from August 11, 1945 to August 26, 1947. During that time he visited many locations throughout the Mediterranean including Montevideo, Uraguay where in February 1946, he could see the still visible wreck of the German pocket battleship, the Admiral Graf Spee.
From December 1946 to May 1947 Ken was part of the crew involved in the policing of the illegalJewish immigration runs to Palestine. Most of the immigrants were making sea crossings in small overcrowded boats, many suffering horrible conditions and losing their lives in heavy seas.
Ken became very involved in arranging the veteran’s trip from England to the Town of Ajax to celebrate the 60th Anniversary in 1999 when the Association’s president, Eric Smith, suddenly passed away. Ken Jones took over arrangements and coordinated a successful trip. Upon the group’s arrival here, the members of the Association named him President. At the time of the 70th Anniversary Celebration in 2009, Ken was Chairman of HMS Ajax and River Plate Veterans Associations.
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- Location of Original:
- Original document and image located in the Ajax Archives.
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