John Jones OB – In Memoriam

It is with a heavy heart that we must report that Former Governor and OB John Jones sadly passed away last weekend. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Edwina, and family.

We are grateful to John’s brother, Frank Jones OB, for sharing the following memories with us:

John arrived at Bedstone shortly after the College was founded in 1948. He was among a new intake of younger children under the care of Mrs Rees, who had run a Prep school in the Wirral, near his home.

An accomplished all-rounder he spent the best part of ten years revelling and excelling in many of the wide range of activities the school already offered, including acting in musical and straight drama; choral-singing (treble/bass); orchestral playing (viola); cricket, soccer and rugby; athletics and cross-country running and the sea cadet corps. As a result he won many prizes/awards including colours (Hopton house, rugby); victor ludorum (athletics) and represented the school in UK national events at the old White City stadium in west London.

He was also an academic high-flyer, doing well in a range of GCEs at ‘O’ level and, coached by Mr Rees, gaining an ‘A’ level in English Literature at 15. His extra-collegiate curriculum was equally ambitious and successful – if sometimes less well-regarded by his teachers – and he was, at least once, ‘furloughed’, having been observed leaving the college and cycling to Ludlow to meet a girlfriend on a Saturday night.

Like many others of his era he remained ‘in touch’ with the school for many years through the OBS, while bringing up his family and pursuing a distinguished career in the Police. Awarded a passing out prize from Hendon training college, by the then Home Secretary RA Butler, he served many years in the Met, rising to the rank of Detective Superintendent before his retirement.

Still only a sprightly 60 year old, he set about building a new career, entering politics as a local councillor and acting as a press- and broadcast-media consultant. An excellent speaker he was able to use his police expertise to good effect and began to appear on various radio/TV programmes, including a regularly week(end)ly radio phone-in, moderated by former MP Edwina Currie. Impressed by his love of people, love of life, love of books and antiques, love of food and entertaining she suggested they meet for lunch (he broadcast from London, she from Birmingham). They married in 2001.

At about the same time he renewed and strengthened his more than just occasional contact with the school, eventually accepting an invitation to become a Governor in March 2001. Happily, his new wife sanctioned his long-standing love of the various exotic fast cars, vital to getting to meetings in a timely fashion , which soon became prominent visitors in an otherwise mundane selection of alternative transport parked outside that big black and white Thomas Harris front entrance.

John died peacefully from cancer in November, having successfully managed the disease for about fifteen years. He would have been 80 in March 2021.