SIGNALMAN JONES: A BRIEF SYNOPSIS As a young man in Liverpool Jones is a keen observer of the Depression and its racial and religious tensions. But in 1933 Jones, rather a lonely man, finds purpose in life when he joins the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. In 1939 Britain is once again at war and Jones, a signalman, is on board HMS Adventure when she is mined in the Thames Estuary. He remembers the horror of that night: the scream of an injured man and the ship listing to port as, in inky blackness, Jones struggles to get on deck. Events then move at a great pace. Jones receives the DSM for bravery and is commissioned at Lancing College, where he meets his future wife Gladys, before being drafted to Iceland to serve on HMS Wastwater. Jones recounts in vivid detail the great Battle of the Atlantic: survivors, their legs amputated because of frostbite; the sinking of the Hood; and the capture of a German U-Boat. Then a sudden change: at the express order of president Roosevelt Wastwater is sent to New York to help combat long-range U-Boats, and Jones and his colleagues enjoy the unimaginable freedom and luxury of the Big Apple. For the two following years Jones is promoted to command his own ship. He travels to the West Indies and Canada, and then suddenly he's ordered back to England and marries Gladys. The frantic period before D-Day sees Jones as a pilot for Portsmouth Harbour. Later, as captain of HMS Guardsman, he accepts the surrender of a U-boat. The War may be over but for Lieutenant-Commander Holder-Jones DSM DRD RNVR the story is far from finished. In 1980 there is a service at St Andrew's School, Hove, to mark the retirement of Mr Geoffrey Holder-Jones, headmaster, once a boy signalman.
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