The life of one of Barry’s, Wales’ and journalism’s finest sons, was marked by a family reunion with one of his closest living relatives, Phil Colley, visiting his grave at Merthyr Dyfan Cemetery last weekend.

Gareth Jones, revealed to the world the horrors of the Holodomor, where Stalin’s regime in the 1930s, starved several million Ukrainians to death. The story would have gone unreported had it not been for the principled determination and incredible bravery of Gareth Jones. His story was told in the recent feature film Mr Jones.

Described as a mix of Indiana Jones, Ernest Hemingway and Edward Snowden, Gareth caused controversy and international outrage where the New York Times, driven by their correspondent’s collusion with the Communist regime, challenged the veracity of Gareth’s story.

Against tremendous odds, and despite being blackballed by sections of the British Establishment, he defended his writing and ensured the truth came out.

In 1935, while reporting on the Japanese invasion of Manchuria, Gareth died in mysterious circumstances from three bullet wounds.

Suspicion surrounds his death, where it is claimed Stalin’s notorious NKVD security police were responsible. His ashes were later buried at Merthyr Dyfan cemetery.

Gareth Jones’ fame faded but Phil’s mother and Gareth Jones’ niece, Dr Margaret Siriol Colley, wrote a book More Than a Grain of Truth, which inspired renewed interest and the film Mr. Jones.

Born in Barry in 1905, Gareth attended Barry County School, where his father, Major Edgar Jones, was headmaster. His mother, Annie Gwen Jones, had worked in Russia as a tutor to the children of Arthur Hughes, son of Welsh steel industrialist John Hughes who founded the town of Hughesovka, modern-day Donetsk, in the Ukraine.

Gareth’s achievements earned him a posthumous Ukrainian Order of Merit, a plaque at his alma mater, Aberystwyth University, and an exhibition of his diaries at Cambridge University. A commemorative plaque, erected by Barry Town Council to Gareth Jones stands alongside his family’s gravestone at Merthyr Dyfan cemetery, Barry.

Commenting on how Barry celebrates his great-uncle’s life, Phil Colley said: “We are delighted that Gareth’s memory and story are commemorated in his hometown of Barry, the town he returned to at the end of each of his foreign travels, and of which he always spoke with such affection in his writings."

Town Mayor Cllr Steffan Wiliam added: “In a fake news world, it is now more than important than ever we uphold the memory and inspiration of people who gave their lives in the pursuit of truth. Gareth Jones will be remembered - particularly in his home-town of Barry.”

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