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Harry David Jones

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Lieutenant-General Sir harry David Jones, G.C.B., D.C.L, R.E., (1791-1866)


1870 Obituary [1]

LIEUTENANT-GENERAL SIR HARRY DAVID JONES, G.C.B., D.C.L., R.E., one of five sons of John Jones, Esq., General Superintendent at Landguard Fort, was born at that place on the 14th of March, 1791, and he became a cadet at the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, on the 10th April, 1805.

After a probation of six months, on the Ordnance Survey of England, as 'Candidate for the Corps of Royal Engineers,' he was, on the 17th September, 1808, gazetted second lieutenant, and was, for a short time, employed in the superintendence of works of fortification at Dover.

In the next year he took an active part in the attack and reduction of the fortress and arsenal of Flushing ; and although a sufferer from the Walcheren fever, proceeded immediately afterwards to Spain, where he served under Lieut.-General Sir Thomas Graham, in the defence of Cadiz, as first lieutenant, to which rank he was promoted on the 24th June, 1809.

From Cadiz he was despatched, under Colonel Stewart, for the relief of Tarragona (1811), and he joined the army under the Duke of Wellington, then engaged in the siege of Badajos (1812), and took part in all the ensuing campaigns, until the termination of the Peninsular War, in 1814.

For his bravery at the battle of Vittoria he was recommended for promotion ; and he was wounded and taken prisoner while leading the forlorn hope at the first assault of St. Sebastian. He was sufficiently recovered to again take his place in the fifth division in the battle of Nivelle (1813) ; and for his conduct then, and in the operations at the passage of the Bidassoa, Nive, and before Bayonne, he received the thanks of the Master-General of the Ordnance.

On the 22th November, 1813, he was promoted to the rank of second captain. In February, 1814, he was attached to Sir John Lambert’s expedition against New Orleans, at Dauphine Island; and in the following year he joined the Duke of Wellington’s army before the capture of Paris, was in command of the Engineers at Montmartre, and was made a commissioner to the Prussian army of occupation in 1816. He received the silver war medal with five clasps. On his return to England in 1818 he was employed in various routine duties at Plymouth, Jersey, and Chatham.

In the summer of 1826 he was promoted to the rank of captain, and was sent to Malta, from whence he was employed on services on the coast of Africa, and on special duty at Constantinople, in 1833-34.

In May, 1835, he returned home, on being appointed Commissioner for Municipal Boundaries in England, and in November of that year he was employed in the improvement of the navigation of the river Shannon. On this commission he was engaged for several years, besides being First Commissioner for fixing the Municipal Boundaries in Ireland, and Secretary to the Irish Railway Commission, which latter office he held when elected a Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers, on the 25th April, 1837. He was then for a short time Commanding Royal Engineer at Jersey ; but he was soon a.gain removed from the corps, to take up the appointment of Commissioner for the Improvement of the Navigation of the river Shannon; and in 1845 he became the Chairman of the Board of Public Works in Ireland, the duties of which office he continued to perform until 1850. He had been made brevet-major on the 10th of January, 1837, and attained the rank of lieutenant-colonel on the 7th of September, 1840.

In l842 he communicated to the Institution some observations “On the Forms of Breakwaters, with Suggestions for their Modification,” which led to a very interesting discussion.

In 1843 he consented to edit a third edition of the “Journal of the Sieges carried on by the Army under the Duke of Wellington in Spain, during the years 1811 to 1814.”

In 1849 he presented to the Institution a 'Description of the Bridge erected at Athlone, by the Commissioners for the Improvement of the river Shannon,' for which useful record of a large work successfully executed he received a Telford Medal?.

In 1851 he was selected to fill the important position of Director of the Royal Engineer Establishment for Field Instruction at Chatham.

At the commencement of the war against Russia, in 1854, he was appointed brigadier-general for particular service in the Baltic, and commanded the British forces at the siege operations against Bomarsund, in the Aland Isles. For his conduct in the Baltic he was promoted to be a major-general.

In February, 1855, he assumed the command of the Royal Engineers in the Crimean campaign, which he retained until the fall of Sebastopol. He was wounded in the forehead by a spent grapeshot, on June 18th, 1855. In the course of that year he received the following distinctions and decorations, viz., K.C.B. (being advanced to be a G.C.B. in 1861), first class Military Order of Savoy, the Order of the Medjidie of the second class, the Sardinian war medal for military valour, the Cross of Commander of the Legion of Honour of France, the Turkish medal for services in the East, besides the Baltic medal, and the medal and clasp for the Crimea, from the British government.

He was brought to England in enfeebled health, in consequence of the wound and incessant fatigue; but he was sufficiently recovered in the following year (1856) to return to duty.

As a recognition of his devotion to the varied and important trusts confided to him for forty-eight years, he was placed on the list of officers receiving rewards for 'Distinguished or Meritorious Services,' and in May of the same year (1856) he was appointed Governor of the Royal Military College, and of the Staff College at Sandhurst. On the 6th of July, 1860, Sir Harry became a 1ieut.-general, and on the 2nd of the following month he was appointed a colonel commandant in the corps of Royal Engineers.

For about a year prior to his decease the state of his health continued to excite the gravest apprehension among his family and friends, and at last, on the 2nd of August, 1866, in his seventy-fifth year, he sank from sheer exhaustion, esteemed, admired, and regretted by all who had the happiness to know him.


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