Canon John Vaughan-Jones curate of St Nicholas Church, Laindon
Probably like many of you with time on your hands in this current situation I have been sorting through my archive of files and am surprising myself of what I have stored away and basically forgotten about.
One paper cutting I came across is on the Reverend John Vaughan-Jones who was the padre with the Parachute Regiment who joined the airborne push to Berlin in 1945.
He was born on Easter Day 1918 in Maclear, South Africa where his father, Canon William Vaughan-Jones was a missionary. The family return to England when he was three with his father becoming Vicar of Good Easter.
He graduated from Keble College, Oxford, in 1939. He was ordained deacon in 1941 and was appointed a curate at Laindon cum Basildon. In 1942 he was ordained priest and remained at Laindon until 1943 when he volunteered for service with the Royal Army Chaplains Department. He was commissioned in October 1943, initially attached a training regiment until 1944 and subsequently served on attachment with 171 Field Regiment RA, 1st Battalion Royal Ulster Rifles and RA, 6th Airborne Division. Along the way he became known as ‘Old Bones’.
As a Padre in the Parachute Regiment, Vaughan-Jones was given no special treatment and took an active part in operations and was among the many who took to the skies in gliders leading the advance across Germany in 1945.
After the war, he accompanied the 6th Airborne Division to Palestine until 1947 when he was released from active service and given the honorary rank of Chaplain to the Forces.
He returned to Laindon until May 1949 when, aged 31, he was inducted as the 61st Rector of St Martins, Chipping Ongar. In 1972 he was appointed Rural Dean of Ongar and in 1978 received a Canonary Emerities from the Bishop of Chelmsford, posts he held until he and his wife (Joyce Tustin – Married October 1950) retired in 1983, retiring to Little Bentley. Following his wife’s death in 1996 he moved to South Devon to be close to one of his daughters. He died in 2010 at the age of 92.
I wonder how many Laindoners remember him.
20th January 2021