'He jam packed his amazing long life with all sorts': Tributes to Second World War veteran
PUBLISHED: 16:53 10 May 2019 | UPDATED: 16:53 10 May 2019
Archant Norfolk 2018
A "sweet, kind and generous" Second World War veteran has died months after celebrating his 101st birthday.
Arthur Jones peacefully passed away at his Thoroughfare home in Halesworth on April 23.
Originally from Lewisham, Mr Jones enlisted in the British Army and travelled to the Middle East as part of the Royal Army Service Corps (RASC) when war broke out in 1939.
It was his responsibility to supply food, water, fuel and other military equipment to soldiers behind enemy lines.
A close family friend said: "Arthur was the sweetest, kindest and most thoughtful person you could come across. He was generous and always wanted to help others.
"He had amazing stories to tell from his amazing long life which he jam packed full of all sorts.
"He was so independent but he was always so grateful to anyone who helped him.
"He had a motto he would always say of 'he who dares, wins', and he never let any challenge overcome him.
"He loved his cats and he was devoted to his late wife Eileen who he missed dearly.
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"He was lovely and everyone who knew him said the same."
Never was Mr Jones' bravery more apparent than when he rescued eight British soldiers who had become lost in the Saudi Arabian desert when their vehicles broke down.
Speaking as he celebrated his 100th birthday in January 2018, Mr Jones said: "I loved the desert. My strongest memory is of the sky at night. There were millions and millions of beautiful stars.
"The empty zone is a very deadly place and no one liked to go in it but they asked me if I would find them.
"It took me three days to find them and they had ran out of food. Their sergeant had gone crazy and was tied to the side of the truck."
For his valour the centenarian was awarded the oak leaf emblem and mentioned in a Dispatch for distinguished service in the London Gazette.
He went on to serve around the world, receiving a further eight medals including the African star and Italian star.
While working at Eastern Electricity in Romford he met his wife Eileen and the pair moved to Halesworth in 1963.
He also navigated the first channel crossing on a hovercraft in 1966.
A cremation service will take place at Waveney Memorial Park on May 15 at 11am, followed by a service of thanksgiving at Halesworth Cemetery Chapel at noon. Friends of Mr Jones have requested no flowers, but donations to Cats Protection may be given in memory of Mr Jones.