Ernest Alexander Jones – 1868 – 1946

In my previous post I had the obituary of Frederick Thomas Jones who died young. He was succeeded as headmaster of East Hoathly school by his brother Ernest Jones (my Great Grandfather). He was to be headmaster for 34 years, eventually retiring in 1930.

Ernest Alexander Jones

Ernest Alexander Jones

The next few posts as and when I have time will be transcriptions from various papers of his retirement and his obituaries published after he died in 1946.

Some background:

He was the son of Frederick Jones and Caroline Dale.

Born – 13 MAY 1868 in Hellingly, Sussex, England

Married – Alice Elizabeth Gifkins 1899 East Hoathly.

Died – 14 APR 1946 EastHoathly, Sussex, England

Children: Thomas Jones, Frederick William Jones, Elizabeth Jones.

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Frederick Thomas Jones – 1865 -1896

Frederick Thomas Jones (b. 12/10/1865 d. 29/04/1896) was my Great Great Uncle. He was headmaster at East Hoathly Primary school and died relatively young. He succeeded his father as headmaster and following his death his younger brother became headmaster. Here is his obituary possibly from the East Sussex Gazette .

East Hoathly

The Late Mr F. T. Jones

The village of East Hoathly has been plunged into mourning by the death of it’s most popular inhabitants – Mr Frederick Thomas Jones, eldest son of Frederick Thomas JonesMr and Mrs F. Jones of Halland. The deceased was only 30 years of age, 20 of which had been spent in the village. For twelve years he was connected the schools, five years ago succeeding his father as headmaster. In February a severe attack of influenza was followed by tonsillitis. From this, however, he so far recovered as to attend the Teachers Conference at Brighton, but weakened by the previous illness he took a chill there. This brought on a complication of illnesses, and in spite of assiduous nursing and skilful medical attendance he passed away on Wednesday week, acute rheumatism  and pericarditis being the immediate cause of death. There was no local institution or association of any kind with which the late Mr Jones was not actively connected. He was choir master, an accomplished musician and a good singer, and no concert or operatic entertainment (for which this village is celebrated) was complete without hi cooperation. Campanology was many of his many hobbies, and under his tuition the bell ringers of East Hoathly were well advanced in the intricacies of change-ringing. The school which Mr Jones conducted most successfully was in a very high state of efficiency and always obtained the highest possible grants. At there meeting on Friday the school managers placed on record an expression of their high appreciation of his services, and the conviction that his good example and blameless life will have a lasting effect on all with whom he had come in contact. In addition with discharging his scholastic duties at East Hoathly, Mr Jones also conducted the drawing and wood carving classes at Uckfield in connection with the East Sussex County Council Technical Instruction Scheme. It was only natural that the funeral obsequies of so popular young man, – one was closely connected with the life of the village, and held in such high esteem – should have been an unprecedented character. On Monday, when the funeral took place, the whole village – rich and poor, old and young – turned out a last tribute of loving respect. The coffin, which was of oak with solid brass furniture, was bourne by members of the choir and bore on the plate the inscription:-

Frederick Thomas Jones
Age 30.
Died April 29th 1896.

The grave was lined with primroses, ivy, and forget-me-nots – the loving offerings of the little school children. The service was conducted by the Rector, the Rev. H. Harbord, and the curate, the Rev. W. Wilson. The chief mourners were Mr and Mrs F Jones (mother and Father), Mr E A Jones (only brother), Mrs Dale (Aunt), Mr Jude Jones (Uncle), Miss L Jones (Cousin). The church was filled to overflowing, and the whole service most impressively conducted. There were some 50 beautiful reefs, including the following:-

“From his loving mother father and brother;”
“From his loving uncle, aunt and cousins Lilly and Frank;”
“Captain Clemens, J.P.;”
“The Rev. and Mrs. Harbord;”
“The Rev. and Mrs. Wilson;”
“Dr. and Mrs. Holman;”
“Mr. Garrick;”
“Mr., Mrs., and Miss Gifkins;”
“Mr. and Mrs. F. Turner;”
“Mr. and Mrs. J. Turner;”
“Mr. and Mrs. Granger;”
“Mrs. and Langdon and members of Laughton carving class;”
“Tradesman and Farmers of East Hoathly;”
“Members of the Choir;”
“Members of Cricket Club;”
“The Bell Ringers;”
“Children of the Mixed School;”
“To the Dear Master from the little ones;”
“Mrs. Bath (Brighton), Miss Bellingham, Miss Wenham, Miss Wagon and many others. – On Sunday and Monday night muffled peals were rung. The deepest sympathy is felt for the bereaved relatives in their sad bereavement.

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Here’s another Tuck’s post card from my Grandfather Fred to my aunt Hilda (Tom’s wife), from 1947. The postmark is for Lewes, Sussex and from February 1947  I’m not sure what was wrong with Hilda, but it wasn’t life threatening she lived until 1987.


owareyou2 owareyouDear Hilda

I couldn’t resist sending you this card as I thought it might take you back to Bethesda and do you good. Possibly when you were there you were similarly attired. Anyhow we hope you are better, as if you cared!

Love from all,


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Memory of Choir Master Enshrined in Music – Obituary 1969

(This is the obituary for my grandfather he died relatively young at the age of 57, when  I was 4, so I have very vague recollections of him. He died just over two years after my Aunt (his daughter), Uncle and Cousin died in a car crash. He was the younger brother of Thomas Jones).

Frederick William JonesMemories of 15 years of devoted service for Southover Church Lewes were enshrined in music at a service of dedication at the church on Sunday to the memory of Mr Frederick William Jones, of Brookside Southover.

To keep alive the memory of their leader, the members of the 30-strong choir had placed a brass tablet, inscribed in his memory on the ornately carved front of the church organ over which Mr Jones had presided for so long.

After the dedication ceremony had been carried out, the Rector ( The Rec. A. E. S. Hurd) said in his address that the choir was the living memorial of the inspiration, leadership and freindship which Mr Jones gave to them during his long years of service in the church,

“Their choice of the anthem which they sang this morning – one of his favourites – is proof of this” said the Rector.

He was referring to the inspiring message of hope contained in the quartette from Stainers’s Crucifixion, the firstverse of which was sung unaccompanied by five members of the choir, Miss Lucinda Houghton, Miss Janet Jenner, Mr Graham Wimshurst, Mr Norman Oliver ans Miss Amanda Hersic.


It was a deeply moving moment as the beautifully sung words of the anthem ‘For God so loved the world . . .’ enthralled a, crowded congregation as the dedication was completed and the widow and others of Mr Jones’ family walked back from the choir stalls to their pews escorted by the church wardens

The full choir joined in the singing of the second verse of the anthem.

Other hymns sung by the choir accompanied by the organist and choirmaster, Mr R. Press, were “The King Love my Shepherd is,” “Angel Voices” and J”esu thou joy of olving hearts.” All were chosen because they were among the familiar favourites of the former choirmaster.

Members of the Lewis and District Rotary club, of which Mr Jones was immediate past President, had been invited to the service and many attended, including the President, Dr R. G. Brims Young.

Mrs Rita Chaplin, representing Mr Marston Barrett, the Lewes Jeweller who supplied the memorial plate, also accepted an invitation to attend the service.

Members of Mr Jones’ family included Mrs F. W. Jones (widow), Mr and Mrs A. C. R. Jones (Son and daughter-in-law), Mr and Mrs T. A. Jones (brother and sister-in-law) and many others. They were welcomed on arriving at the church by the Rector and by Mr Patrick White representing the choir.


The Churchwardens Mr G. E. Heasman and Mr K. Bridger, carrying their wands of office, escorted the family party to the immediate scene of the dedication.

The memorial tablet records Mr Jones’ services as organist and choirmaster for exactly 15 years, from September 1954 to September 1969 when his death occurred with tragic suddenness after a brief illness.

Another tablet in the church near the altar, recalls an earlier tragedy that befell Mr and Mrs F. W. Jones.

In May 1967 their son-in-law and daughter, Mr and Mrs J. M. Aytoun-Ellis with their three year old grandson, John Alexander, were killed in a motoring accident in France.

The Beautiful carved front of the organ (which now bears the choirs’ memorial tablet) was given by Mr and Mrs Jones in memory of the victims of this earlier tragedy.

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Tom and Hilda’s Wedding Photo – 1928

Tom and Hilda's Wedding

Tom and Hilda’s Wedding

This picture is of my great Uncle Tom’s wedding to Hilda Rose Hobbs on the 15 August 1928. It’s a good one because it has my Grandfather Frederick William Jones, Great Grandfather Earnest Alexander Jones, and Great Great Grandfather Frederick Jones in it.  I’m not sure of all the people in the picture but from Left to right back row, Young lad (no idea who he is) ,my grandfather Frederick Jones (probably the best man), the bridesmaid (no idea), possibly the Brides father Edward Hobbs, Thomas Alfred Jones, my great great grandfather Frederick Jones, and my great Grandfather Earnest Jones. On the front row from left to right Hilda’s mother Sarah Ann Rose, Hilda, Violet Hobbs (Hilda’s sister) and my great Grandmother Alice Elizabeth Giffkins.

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Thomas “Niffer” Jones – Obituary

(I remember my uncle Tom well and still have many stamps he gave me. As children, we were fascinated by his false left arm lost through cancer, too young to realise how seriously ill he was. He died in 1976. His stamp collection was something to behold and had every possible Belgium stamp. It was bequeathed to a museum in Belgium. )

Thomas Jones

Thomas Jones

To refer to Mr T A Jones, of Ramsgate, who died last month at the age of 76, as “Niffer” might seem to some as disrespectful but to inumerable pupils at St Georges Boys’ School in the nineteen-twenties and thirties it was an appropriate sobriquet,affectionately bestowed on a gifted teacher who introduced them to the marvels of science and showed them how to prepare intriguing if smelly potions in the schools chemistry lab.

After the 1939-45 war, Tom Jones transferred to Chatham House School where he again taught chemistry. Music too was one of his abiding interests and for a long time, he was deputy organist at St Georges Church and a member of its choir. Illness cruelly curtailed his musical activities in later years but he continued to follow another of his lifelong pursuits, that of philately. He was a recognised authority on the stamps of Belgium and in 1974 wrote and published an informative book on the railway parcels post cancellations of that country.

He will long be remembered by those who knew him, not least for his indomitable courage, cheerfulness, and determination to thwart the disease with which he was sorely afflicted.

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Cambride Colleges Postcard

This next post card, featuring the coats of arms of the Cambridge Colleges, is from my Great Grandfather Earnest Jones to his son my Great Uncle Thomas Jones (he of the previous postcard). It was sent on the 15 July 1923 from Cambridge. I have no idea what he was doing in Cambridge. It may well have been a headmasters conference as he would have been headmaster at East Hoathly Primary School at the time. Tom would have been studying London for his Chemistry degree.

This one is Valentine’s card, you can find information on them here


Dear Tom

Arrives safely at four o’clock nearly melted.Went to Kings College Chapel this morning. So merely getting to know folk about 60 from all parts of England. about 2 from each county. Don’t forget to let your mother know when you are going home.

With love
your loving


Cambridge Colleges

Coats of Arms of Cambridge Colleges

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