Tribute to uncle who never made it home from World War II

Headshot of Liam Croy
Liam CroyGreat Southern Herald
Geoff Jones and Bob Huston holding a display commemorating Henry Jones.
Camera IconGeoff Jones and Bob Huston holding a display commemorating Henry Jones. Credit: Pictures: Liam Croy, Liam Croy

Anzac Day was not a good day for the late Keith Jones and family.

Of four Jones brothers who enlisted for World War II, only three came home.

The brother who was killed in action with Bomber Command — Henry “Peter” Sylvester Jones — was born on April 26, 1923.

A flight-sergeant in No.44 Squadron, he was shot out of the sky behind enemy lines at the age of 21, but his death was not confirmed until 10 months later.

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Anzac Day tended to bring those painful memories to the surface for Kokoda Track veteran Keith and his family in Kojonup.

The other three Jones brothers have since died.

But now, their relatives are making sure their beloved Peter is not forgotten.

Geoff Jones, who still lives in Kojonup, is the son of Keith.

He said his father had rarely spoken about the war.

Geoff Jones holding a photo of his uncle, Henry Jones.
Camera IconGeoff Jones holding a photo of his uncle, Henry Jones. Credit: Liam Croy

“I think the whole family basically never recovered from Peter’s death,” Mr Jones said.

“My father wasn’t keen on Anzac Day and I would think that’s due to the fact it was more or less the birthdate of his brother.

“His mother was obviously devastated and just the way they lived their lives ... I’m not sure they ever really recovered from it.”

One of Geoff’s relatives, Bob Huston, has taken a keen interest in keeping alive the memory of the Jones brother who never made it home.

He placed a notice in the “Can you help” section of The West Australian, asking to speak to anyone who knew Peter before he left for the war.

The responses he got from his childhood friends helped him put together a picture of what the young man was like.

Good at football and cricket, humble, good looking — he had a lot going for him.

Bob Huston holding Henry Jones' World War II diary.
Camera IconBob Huston holding Henry Jones' World War II diary. Credit: Liam Croy

Mr Huston kept digging until he had enough information to put together a mounted display of his replica medals, photographs and excerpts from his diary.

He travelled to Kojonup last month to give Geoff one of the mounted displays on the 75th anniversary of his uncle’s death.

“What motivated me was you had these single men who died during the war and they’ve got no legacy,” Mr Huston said.

“They’ve got no grandkids, no family, so I thought I’d try to do something about it.

“I’ve got one of these displays set up in my house and Geoff’s got one in his house now.

“Even my brother, who lives in Holland, has one in his house for his kids, so they know about their family and their connection to Australia.”

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