A MAN who survived two years in a prisoner of war camp in the Second World War has died.
George Henry Jones, of Somerville Crescent, Ellesmere Port, passed away at the Countess of Chester Hospital on March 25 after a short illness. He was 92.
Born in Ellesmere Port in 1918, George enlisted in the army in 1940 and trained as a cook.
His culinary prowess was written about in the 1947 book, Return Via Rangoon.
In the book, which describes how a group of men survived for more than two years as Japanese prisoners of war in a Rangoon jail, author Philip Stibbe wrote: “The head cook in our column was a cheery soul from Ellesmere Port called Corporal Jones; he had never done any cooking before he joined the Army, but he worked so hard and showed such skill that he was soon put in charge of the cook-house.”
During his time in the armed forces he served not only in India, but also in Africa and trained in the jungles of Hydrabad.
It was there that the men were trapped and taken to Rangoon jail, and one of the things George remembered was that one man managed to escape – but the man was caught and taken into the jungle to be shot.
Meanwhile, George’s worried wife Elsie was left at home in Ellesmere Port not knowing if he was dead or alive, until the letter arrived in 1945 to say he was safe in Allied hands. Elsie sadly passed away in 1997.
George was a proud and quiet man and didn’t really like to talk of his ordeal afterwards except when he was asked about it by friends and family.
He left the Army in 1945 with four medals including a Burma Star and a commendation.
He went on to work for Shell, where he started as a pipefitter’s mate. He later became a mail supervisor until his retirement at the age of 65.
A keen traveller, particularly with his daughter Pauline McCarthy and her husband Paul, George went abroad many times, but still had a soft spot for Llandudno.
George was very close to his family, particularly grandsons Stephen and Gary. He would often watching the horse racing on television with Stephen, while he and Gary had the same sense of humour and would often share jokes.
His funeral was held at Overpool Chapel followed by interment at Overpool Cemetery. Captain Dave O’Brien officiated.