(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).
Memories 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.