Moelwyn Howell Jones
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Moelwyn Howell Jones
Moelwyn Howell Jones was born on September 21, 1919 in Abercynon, a village located in the Cynon Valley in Wales. He was the only child of Richard Jones (born 1892) and Elizabeth Jane Howell (born 1893). His father worked as a coal hewer in Dowlais Cardiff colliery in Abercynon; his mother worked until her retirement as a pupil teacher in a primary school.
Moelwyn Jones was a pupil of the local Primary School; in 1931 he went to the Mountain Ash Grammar school in Mountain Ash, a town in the neighbourhood of Abercynon.
On the 9th of January 1939 Moelwyn Jones joined the G (Finsbury) Division, division number G 179 of the Metropolitan Police in London. During his time with the police, Moelwyn witnessed the Blitzkrieg; the Air Force of Germany carried out massive airborne attacks on London and other British towns, resulting in many casualties and damages.
He joined the Royal Armoured Corps on February 5, 1942 and was assigned to (the B-squadron of) the 2nd Northamptonshire Yeomanry on June 23, 1943. After an impressive number of American, British and Canadian troops had landed on the beaches of Normandy, the 2nd Northamptonshire Yeomanry disembarked on June 18, 1944, with a great number of (Cromwell) tanks on Gold Beach, one of the D-Day beaches near Courseuilles-sur-Mer.
At first, the battle in Normandy advanced with great difficulty, many soldiers were killed and material losses were also considerable. Partly on account of the heavy losses, the 2nd Northamptonshire Yeomanry was disbanded in August of 1944; the soldiers of the regiment were transferred to units of the 7th Armoured Division. One of the units was the 1st Royal Tank Regiment (RTR). As appears from his tracer card, Moelwyn Jones joined this unit on August 20, 1944.
From Normandy the allied troops advanced through Belgium and the Netherlands.
The War diaries of the 1st RTR mention that: “In the nightfall on October 25 the 1st RTR reached the outskirts of Udenhout without much opposition, but the Germans reacted when the squadron started to move around the town to take up defence positions and some sharp fighting with infantry occured, in the course of this two Cromwell tanks were bazooked”.
This shows that two Cromwell tanks were lost during the liberation of Udenhout. It must be assumed that Moelwyn Jones, who belonged to the tank regiment, was killed at that time. The Casualty Card records Moelwyn’s death on October 26, 1944”: “K.I.A., N.W.E.“ (Killed in Action, North Western Europe).
That same day Udenhout was liberated.
Frank de Hommel wrote a book “Three British soldiers, buried in the churchyard behind the St-Lambertus church in Udenhout”. ISBN 978-90-78933-39-7.
Erfgoedcentrum ‘t Schoor Udenhout-BiezenmortelSluiten
Geplaatst door Frank de Hommel op 27 december 2021