JONES, Alfred Stowell VC  [1832 - 1920]

Alfred Stowell Jones was born at 3 Huskisson Street L8 on the 24th January 1832, the second child of Reverend John Jones, the vicar of St. Andrew’s Church in Renshaw Street. His mother Hannah (née Pares) came from Leicester. Not long after his son’s birth Rev. Jones was appointed Waterloo and Rural Dean, moving to 38 Waterloo Road, which was to be his home for over thirty years. He eventually became Archdeacon of Liverpool, dying in 1883 aged 90.

Arthur Jones’ early education was received at home from his mother, later attending Liverpool College in Shaw Street. Having shown a keen aptitude for horsemanship he determined upon a military career, entering the Royal Military College at Sandhurst in 1851, shortly after his mother died. After a year at Sandhurst he purchased a commission of coronet in the 9th Lancers and in 1855, having been promoted to lieutenant, he departed for service in India. Fearing he would not get the chance for active service Jones lobbied unsuccessfully to transfer to the Crimea but before long his opportunity came. 1857 saw the Indian Rebellion (previously known as the Indian Mutiny) and Jones first campaign, advancing on a captured Delhi under the command of Major General Hewitt.

During the action Jones, alone, pursued six ‘enemy’ gunners who were retreating with their 9-pound cannon. Single-handedly, brandishing his sabre, he brought the galloping team to a halt. For his bravery in this, and another engagement in the campaign, Arthur Stowell Jones was awarded the Victoria Cross. His citation reads

“The Cavalry charged the rebels and rode through them. Lieutenant Jones, of the 9th Lancers, with his squadron, captured one of their guns, killing the drivers, and, with Lieutenant-Colonel Yule’s assistance, turned it upon a village, occupied by the rebels, who were quickly dislodged. This was a well-conceived act, gallantly executed.”

Jones was severely wounded in the action to take Delhi and returned to England in 1857. He was presented with his V.C. by Queen Victoria on 2nd August 1858. He retired from the army with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in 1872 and moved to Flintshire where he set up and managed a sewage farm estate of 104 acres. His later years were darkened by the fact that he lived to bury four of his five sons, all of whom served in the armed forces. He died in Finchampstead, Berkshire, aged 88, on 29th May 1920.

3 Huskisson Street L8

Arthur Stowell's birthplace in 1832

Arthur Stowell Jones' grave at St James church Finchampstead


The most comprehensive account of Jones' life is in James Murphy's excellent book Liverpool VCs [Pen & Sword 2008]. There is a Wikipedia entry and some useful information at victoriacrossonline.