Tributes paid to 'unusual and remarkable' Snowdonia mountain rescue veteran

Published date: 10 May 2016 | Published by: Mike Williams
Read more articles by Mike Williams Email reporter

TRIBUTES have been paid to a top Snowdonia mountain rescue veteran who died last week.

Dr ASG Jones, better known as Tony, died after an illness on Friday, May 6, aged 77.

He was one of the earliest members of Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue team, served as chairman for more than 20 years and became a prominent figure in the global mountain resuce community.

Chris Lloyd, spokesman for Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue, said: “Tony has been a major influence to Mountain Rescue in the UK and around the world since the mid 1960’s.

“A book could be written about this unusual and remarkable man.

“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.”

Dr Jones was born in India, the son of an officer of the British Indian Army, and as a young boy moved to his mother’s home country of South Africa.

He suffered from polio at an early age which left him with a weak leg.

But he maintained a love of diving and later took interest in the mountains as a student, eventually joining the Mountaineering Club of South Africa.

He moved to continue his studies in Aberystwyth University in 1963 and became involved with Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue when it was inaugurated in 1965.

Later, he moved to lecture in marine geology at University College of Wales, Bangor.

Dr Jones became a full member of Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue in 1966 before being appointed as a team leader - a position he held until 1998.

He became chairman in 1969 and held that position for 21 years, before becoming chairman of North Wales Mountain Rescue Association and later vice chairman of the national Mountain Rescue Committee.

He helped introduce new first aid strategies for mountain rescuers in the UK and was one of a small group who brought over the American style of search management, going on to lecture on the topic around the world.

He also became an honoray member of the United States Air Force Pararescue and was featured on TV’s This is your Life in 1992, shortly before he was awarded an MBE.

Mr Lloyd added: “Tony encouraged innovation.

“When Tony Jones spoke, the world listened - he was a real authority on mountian rescue.”

North Wales Police Deputy Chief Constable Gareth Pritchard said: “Dr Jones was held in extremely high regard by North Wales Police and we were saddened to hear of his passing.

“We are indebted to the hard work undertaken by Dr Jones over many years, and are grateful for his advice and guidance.

“He will be sadly missed.”