Keeping up with the Royal Marine Joneseseseseseseses

Courtesy of Ex Bootneck, we have this account of his time spent amongst various men with the last name Jones:

I was once part of a Royal Marine instruction team that assisted with training a Welsh Regiment, shaking them down for a deployment.

Within the Welsh Regiments it is not uncommon to hear a roster called out referring to ‘Private Jones’ in a numerical order i.e. Private Jones 1, Private Jones 2, Private Jones 3 etc… The Company I was attached to had ‘Jones 1’ through to ‘Jones 15’. Even the Corporals & Sergeants follow in the same fashion. (It is a Company Sergeant Major’s living nightmare conducting admin under such circumstances).

Falklands War. Imagine the look on my face upon coming across a group of Argentinean POW’s when one handed me his ID card with the name of ‘Glynn Jones’ printed across it. I then realised he was from Patagonian stock. Although he spoke Spanish as his first language, his second was that of Celtic Welsh. It was highly amusing to see one of my Marines (Taff Jones) speaking to him in Celtic Welsh tongue. Until a dozen or so piped up all at once, a gaggle of Welsh men in Celtic conversation is not a pleasurable experience.

Though a Welsh male voice choir is very melodic.

Through an interpretive conversation, we determined that several of the ‘Argies’ families descended from the Rhonda Valley in Wales before emigrating to Patagonia, which was mind blowing; as they could well have been related distantly to Marine ‘Taff’ Jones! Viewing further ID cards provided more humour as the names were pure Welsh. They even had a passion for Welsh Rugby and could name the top players.

Jones is the most popular surname to be found in Wales and one of the world’s most famous surnames. As the Welsh have emigrated from Wales to places like England, the United States of America, South America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand it has spread over the years to be one of the most popular surnames in the Welsh and English speaking worlds. It is the fifth most popular surname in the United States and second most popular in Australia, New Zealand and on the island of Britain.

Joneseseseseseseses, they are a hard lot to keep up with. . .

28 thoughts on “Keeping up with the Royal Marine Joneseseseseseseses”

  1. Ex Bootneck,
    That’s really fascinating. I’m wondering why the Argentine Military sent all those Welsh-Argentines to fight the British. The Jones’s vs the Jones’s. Is it that they didn’t mind if the Jones’s were killed in combat as much as they would mind if the Hernandez’s got killed? Or simply that the Welsh-Argentines lived closer to the Falklands? Your thoughts?

    1. I think the reading light is probably ‘stinguished and all those of the far isle are out cold, off dreaming of the Royal Navy and when they ruled the seven seas. Or, at least the men’re dreaming this. Not sure what the others ponder. Perhaps grog and those beaver-pelted hats (cannon q-tips) the guards at the Palace wear.

        1. NavyOne, rumour has it that the Queen has just invited you over to the Tower of London (don’t book a return ticket)!

          As a squad of Coldstream Guards was patrolling the Iraqi border, they came across a badly mangled dead body. As they got closer, they found it was an Iraqi soldier.

          A short distance up the road, they found a badly mangled Guardsman in a ditch on the other side of the road who was alive but struggling to breathe. They ran to him and cradled his blood-covered head and asked him what had happened?

          “Well,” he whispered, “I was walking down this road, armed to the teeth when I came across this heavily armed Iraqi border guard. I looked him right in the eye and shouted, Saddam Hussein is an unprincipled lying piece of crap”!

          “He looked me straight in the eye and shouted back, Tony Blair is an unprincipled lying piece of crap too”!

          “We were standing there shaking hands when the truck hit us”…


          1. Off to the Tower for me!

            As an Iraqi linguist, I’ve never met one person who supported Saddam. Of course, all the Iraqis I knew were working for us, so my sample is tainted.

    2. Clark
      After the Argentine Military Junta invaded the Falkland Islands, they withdrew the bulk of their forces and repositioned them on their own Border with Chile. (The disputed ‘Beagle Conflict’ between Argentina & Chile had been on going for some years).

      The Junta was conscious of the fact that Chile could take advantage of a worsening situation within the Falkland Isles. So they shifted their entire ‘stock’ of conscripts to the Falkland Islands, to act as battle casualty replacements for their main occupying force should Maggie Thatcher call their bluff!

      (The Patagonian ‘Welsh’ are now classed as Argentinean, though they retain their Welsh heritage proudly. Conscription knows no boundaries, so when Mrs Jones little boy was required off he went, as did those of the same age).

      The Military Junta panicked when Maggie Thatcher responded by putting a task force together; forcing the Junta to throw as many elite forces as it could back on the Island. However, when the British task force sailed closer the Junta realised the Royal Navy and its Hunter Killer Submarines had out foxed them by running a blockade.

      The Royal Navy’s silent service gave the Argentine Navy a bloody nose by sinking one of its Light Cruisers ‘The General Belgrano’ (previously the USS Phoenix). This blocked any further attempt to supply more troops, as the Argentine Navy was recalled to port for fear of being destroyed.–M0wWT4YHgCw&usg=AFQjCNGfYwv4rwUp81g6oHVpX6lRo1Pwxw&bvm=bv.1357700187,d.d2k

      The Falkland’s war was probably the last war to be fought conventionally without the technical advances of today. Each side had to fight far from home with limited resources. It was an Air, Sea and Land conflict, pen ultimately resulting in bloody hand-to-hand fighting; with one winner emerging without conditions covering victory.

      It was also the coldest I have ever been; the Arctic winter was a hidden enemy for both sides.


  2. EB: Hey, we had a simultaneous post! (Ie: we posted at the same time.) I did not know the Belgrano was one of ours, the USS Phoenix. An apt name, alas you sunk her! (Nice shooting. . .)
    Kris: We have had the same issue, except not with Jones. I think it was Smith or Thompson at boot camp. We had three of them.

  3. There is a cautionary tale here Navy One…when you get yourself tangled up with someone who has interesting stories to tell (either Navy or Marine (and we’re talking Royal)) and a personal involvement, you better watch what you say….an American in the Tower of London…who knew?? Well, I’m sure Her Royal Majesty will treat you well and with respect….TaTa….k

    1. The good news is that the Tower has wifi. I am there now and blogging to my heart’s content. I really love this crime and punishment thing!

  4. Something else about this. Argentines have a sort of love-hate relationship with Britain. There’s a jocular saying in Latin America, that the Argentines are Spanish-speaking Italians who try to be British and admire French architecture. Well, something like that. Certainly, they recognize that the British built their first railroads, but also remember that the British, from way back, tried to run Argentina. In Buenos Aires, there is a clock tower that was a gift of Britain to Argentina. It had always been called “la torre inglesa” (the English tower), and was called that when I was there in 1984. On my trip there in 2001 it was called something else, I don’t remember what.
    With regard to the Falkland War (la guerra de las Malvinas), they seem to believe that British naval forces machinegunned Argentine survivors of the sunken Belgrano as they were trying to stay afloat in the sea.


    1. Clark,

      When the ‘Belgrano’ was hit, the survivors took to the life rafts, whilst the two Destroyers escorting her turned tail and steamed back to port; leaving over several hundred men on their own. The survivors were left in freezing Arctic storm conditions for thirty hours until rescued by Argentinean & Chilean naval ships.

      There were no ships capable of ‘machine gunning’ the survivors as there was not a Royal Naval presence (or Fast jets) within a hundred miles.

      The silent service had done her work, the evidence of which (her towed array) was placed on an aircraft at the end of the war and sent on to the US for analysis. The ‘system’ contained specific intel of high value to both countries as those nasty Russki’s were also around ‘running deep’. Historical fact.

      The POW’s we encountered after the surrender were terrified as they were told we would kill them and eat their entrails?

      Urban Myths.


        1. Clark

          I think the water temperature was only above freezing by a few degrees; those that did survive the torpedo strikes managed to to enter the automatically inflatable (25 man) life crafts.

          No mean feat having to enter the water first, and then attempt to crawl into one in the stormy waters of the Atlantic!

          There are several photographs that endorse this as well as eye witness accounts.


  5. Dr. Henry Jones, Jr.? Tom, Tommie Lee, Shirley, Spike or Quincy? Casey, Catherine Zeta, Carolyn (Morticia) , Chipper & Chuck? John Paul or Davy? James Earl, Dow or Bridget? Nora, Paula, Terry & Vinnie? Now I gotta Jones for some Welsh Rarebit! Yes! We have no Jones today! Argggghhhhhh!

    1. Struan mate, I will forward some mind bleach on to you, it is all my fault after all.

      Bloody Welsh!


  6. Clark: Things are really heating up down there. This last week has been terrible in terms of the relationship. Although, I think Cristina Kirchner is trying to rattle the Argie sabre due to her failed policies.
    Struan: Wow, that is great. I don’t think I could keep up with you! Do you have any Jones’ blood?

    1. Nary a drop. Scot down to me tartan blood. “Struan” is the name of the village my Great Gran was born in (not the village of the same name on Skye). Robertson Clan (Formerly “Donnachaidh’) lands between Loch Rannoch & Loch Tay & Loch Tummel, east to Pilochry & Killiecrankie. I ken the gloamin’ of Dunalstair Waters in the summer and yearn for the ambrosia, the aqua vitae of Scotland. Pass the Laphroaig, if you please.

        1. Love your’alls tape and tartans. I will say that I tried Laphroaig once. I was eighteen and I struggled; it did not go down smooove. . .

  7. Pitlochry, by the way, has a salmon ladder in the town. The town has one main street, and is pretty close to a castle, the name of which eludes me at the moment.

    1. You’re probably speaking of Atholl Palace, Clark. The Murray’s main Manse is up the road at Blair Atholl. Many a Murray were big, HUGE Atholls but, in the tangled web of Scot’s history (as I’m certain you’re aware), treachery, betrayal & treason by & amongst the aristocracy was their lingua franca. The Atholls (Murrays) will never be forgiven for moving the people off their lands and bringing sheep in their stead.

      Kinda like what’s happening here. The political aristocracy only has to let attrition do its inexorable work and presto! – where there used to be citizens there’ll sheep.

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