Dr. A.S.G.Jones MBE aka Tony
Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Organisation is sad to announce the death of Tony Jones, who died on 6 May 2016 aged 77 years.
Tony has been a major influence to Mountain Rescue in the UK and around the world since the mid 1960’s.
He was born in India, the son of an officer of the British Indian Army. As a young boy he moved back to his mother’s home country of South Africa. Having suffered from polio at an early age, which left him with a weak leg, his first choice of sport was diving. However, growing up in the shadow of Table Mountain, as a student he took an interest in the mountains and became a member of the Mountaineering Club of South Africa. Having graduated in Marine Geology, he moved to the UK in 1963 to further his studies at Aberystwyth University. He joined the university mountaineering club which had regular meets in Snowdonia and the Ogwen valley. In 1965 when Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Organisation was inaugurated, it depended upon known and trusted groups of mountaineers to staff the rescue team, especially at the weekends. Aberystwyth University became one of those groups and that was Tony’s introduction to Mountain Rescue. Having gained his MSc, he moved to lecture in Marine Geology at University College of Wales, Bangor. In 1966, Tony became a Full member of OVMRO. Shortly afterwards he was appointed as one of the Team Leaders, an office he was to hold until 1998. In 1969 he was elected as Chairman of OVMRO, a position he was to hold for 21 years.
Being a single man and living in university halls, he could devote his free time and studies to Mountain Rescue. He became Chairman of North Wales Mountain Rescue Association, the regional body. Again, he held this post for many, many years. In addition, he became involved with the national body, the Mountain Rescue Committee/Council, later to become Mountain Rescue England & Wales (MREW). He held the post of Vice Chairman for several years.
Tony encouraged innovation. In his early days, his good friend, Dr Ieuan Jones, the Casualty doctor at the Accident and Emergency Department, Bangor, realised that with better First Aid treatment at the accident site, the better the outcome for the casualty. He devised a series of First Aid courses for Mountain Rescue. These were taught to RAF and civilian teams. Tony embraced this training and was soon teaching these courses to MRT members around the country. Later he was one of a small group who brought the American style of Search Management across to the UK. Soon he was organising and lecturing these courses. He took these around the world including places such as Hong Kong.
Through his contacts in the USA, he established close contact with the USAF PJ special forces medics stationed in South East of England. They came to Snowdonia to train. They were to train, climb and socialise with members of OVMRO. In fact, Tony became an Honorary member of the PJ’s and was proud to receive their motif of a pair of green feet tattooed on his body.
In 1992, Tony’s contribution to Mountain Rescue was recognised by being the star of the TV programme This is your Life.
Shortly afterwards he work was recognised in the New Year’s Honours List when he received an MBE.
When Tony resigned as a member of OVMRO in 1999, he was awarded Honorary Membership.
A book could be written about this unusual and remarkable man. Born in India, brought up in South Africa, he had the Welsh surname of Jones and wore a kilt of the Stewart tartan at formal events. Whilst he led with single minded authority, he was a generous man, always willing to help fledgling members and to share his vast wealth of knowledge.
We shall all miss him, thank you Tony.