THE Mayor of Barry Town Council paid tribute to investigative journalist Gareth Jones this month on the anniversary weekend of both his birthday and death.

Barry Town Council Mayor, Cllr Ian Johnson, commemorated the life of investigative journalist Gareth Jones, who was born on August 13, 1905.  

Gareth Jones gained recognition for being the first Western journalist to cover the famine in Ukraine during the winter of 1932-33, caused by Stalin's policies, which resulted in the death of over one million people.

The stories he told became more poignant after the Russian invasion of Ukraine last year.

Cllr Johnson said: “The bravery of Gareth Jones in taking on Stalin and telling the world about the man-made famine in Ukraine is something of which everybody in Barry should be proud. 

“Gareth is rightly recognised as a hero in Ukraine, with a street recently named after him in Kyiv, and the focus of two films about the Holodomor, as the famine is called, one of which is in English, called ‘Mr Jones’.”

Gareth was the child of Major Edgar Jones, who served as the Headmaster of Barry County School, and Annie Gwen Jones, who had worked as a governess for the Hughes family in what is now known as Donetsk. Initially, the family resided in Romilly Road and later moved to Porth-y-Castell. 

He was a speechwriter and researcher for ex-PM Lloyd-George, fluent in Welsh, German, and Russian. He reported on Hitler's campaign to become President of Germany.

On a fact-finding tour in which he was researching Japanese troop movements in China, Gareth was murdered in August 1935, the day before his 30th birthday.

He had been abducted by Mongolian bandits who many believe to have been in the pay of the Soviet Union secret services. His ashes lie in Barry’s Merthy Dyfan Cemetery. 

He added: “Last year the Ukrainian ambassador joined us at Merthyr Dyfan Cemetery to unveil a memorial to Gareth Jones in the Chapel, in English, Welsh and Ukrainian.

“The memorial was paid for by the Canadian Friends of Ukraine who joined us at the family grave to pay tribute to him. ”