Captain John Jones – Master Mariner 1825 -1901

St David’s Cemetery has an abundance of memorials to those who were seafarers and their families as befits such an historic town with close links to the sea. Even today the Mayor of Carmarthen retains the title of “Admiral of the Port of Carmarthen” – a centuries old title. John Jones is but one example of those who went to sea. His memorial was the first one to be restored over two years ago amidst the bramble and bushes…here is his (brief) story together with photographs of the restoration of the memorial.

Obituary of Captain John Jones as reported in the Carmarthen Weekly Reporter 5th July 1901 page 3

Death of Captain John Jones, Carmarthen. We regret to have to announce this week the death of one of the oldest and most highly respected inhabitants of Carmarthen in the person of Captain John Jones, of Carmarthen House, which occurred on Saturday afternoon at his residence after a comparatively short illness. He had a paralytic seizure some months ago, which affected his side, and on Saturday morning he was attacked by another, to which he succumbed. Captain Jones, who had reached the age of 76 years, had seen many lands, having literally been all over the world several times. He was a member of the crew of the vessel which took out the first party of convicts to Van Diemen’s Land, and had suffered many shipwrecks. He spent some time in Australia many years ago, when the gold fever was on and when the crews of all the British ships were deserting their vessels. He was full of reminiscences of events in his travels, and though usually very reticent regarding his personal adventures, when led on to them he would entertain one for hours. Since his retirement from maritime affairs he had carried on business as a fruit and potato merchant and fancy dealer. He was a member of Christ Church, Carmarthen, and a Liberal in politics. He was one of the old members of the Loyal Wayne Lodge of Oddfellows. He leaves two sons, one of whom, Mr. W H Jones, is resident in London, and the other, Mr. A J Jones, is manager of the Carmarthen Weekly Reporter, and three daughters, Mrs. Davies and Miss Jones, Carmarthen House, and Mrs. Booth, of Ballarat, Victoria, Australia, with whom the greatest sympathy is expressed in their affliction. Mrs. Jones predeceased Capt. Jones some thirteen months ago. The funeral, which was private, took place on Tuesday afternoon, the interment taking place at St. David’s Churchyard, in the same grave as his late wife and other members of his family. The Vicar (the Rev T R Walters) officiated at the house, the church, and the graveside. The first coach contained the Rev T R Walters and Dr E R Williams (medical attendant). Then came the hearse, bearing the coffin, which was of polished oak with brass fittings, followed by the mourning coaches. In the first were Mr. A J Jones (son), Master David John Davies (grandson), Mr. John b Walbridge (Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol), Mr. W T Rogers (Nott-square), and Mr. Ben Thomas (Kirk Villa). The second coach contained Mr. William Jenkins, Water-street; Mr. Joseph Thomas, Picton Court; and Capt. Everett, of the SS. “Merthyr,” of Bristol. All along the route shutters were up and blinds drawn, as tokens of respect to the deceased gentleman. Mr. Henry James, Wood’s-row, was the undertaker.

broken and split in three
The chairman examining the damage in 2016
Removal of the headstone for safekeeping