War letter back with lost soldier's family

EMOTIONAL: Patricia Mills with the letter to Reginald Jones' mother

EMOTIONAL: Patricia Mills with the letter to Reginald Jones' mother

First published in News by

A LETTER sent to the mother of a Barry man who lost his life on a World War One battlefield has been reunited with his family.

The heartfelt note - which describes how Lieutenant Reginald Jones was fatally wounded by an exploding shell - had ended up in the possession of distant family members of Reg, who wanted to get it back to his direct relations who they were no longer in touch with.

After reading the family's plea regarding the letter, written to Reginald's mother Elizabeth by a police officer who served with him in Ypres, Patricia Mills contacted the Barry and District News to inform us that her husband Nigel was Reginald's nephew.

Sadly Nigel died just a few weeks ago, meaning that his son Nicholas is now the last remaining family member of Reginald's.

Patricia, 69, of St Nicholas Road, Barry said that, like herself, Nicholas had seen a portrait of Reg that has stayed in the family along with his Distinguished Service Order medal and had always heard the stories about his great uncle.

Reginald's death affected his family greatly, with his sister Peggy particularly never truly recovering from the loss of her brother.

The letter described Reg as a "gallant soldier who died a gallant soldier's death" and a man who was "worshipped" by the men who served under him.

Patricia, a retired professional dancer and actress, said that the letter would now be sent to Nicholas who no longer lives in Barry.

"He's grown up knowing those stories," she said.

Having read the letter herself, Patricia said she found it a heartbreaking experience that brought home the horror so many families experienced during World War One.

She: "I found it very moving to read it. It's extremely emotional.

"Just reading that letter felt a huge connection to him. It is all so tragic.

"It's just unbelievable to think so many young, brave, courageous lives were lost. It's just so unbearable."

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