Colin F. Jones

COL ON COL

I was born in England where I attended Springfield and Spondon House Schools, where I was the top student in all English subjects and Geography. I was the second born of eight in 1940 during WW2. In 1952 we sailed to Australia, by way of the Suez Canal then occupied by British troops. We were at Sea for 4 weeks. In Australia we had to suffer poverty, religious prejudice, ridicule and many other difficulties. Circumstance prevented me from attending school, after six months in 1953.

I worked in the banana plantations on the Bruxna Park Mountain and carried our groceries up the mountain every week on my back (10 miles there and back) aged 13, and did it along gravel roads without shoes. I milked cows on our Dairy Farm, ploughed the land behind two fraught horses, cleared timber, picked fruit, peas and beans, learned to ride horses bareback, navigate flooded creeks in a homemade Kayak, hunt, shoot, track and love wild animals. I was a good shot but I always missed. At 13 I also wrote my first poem (My Golden Steed) – have been writing poetry ever since. Also wrote short stories, one about Ants, another about Dingoes, another was a Western (The Fanning Gunslinger) another was a detective story.

At age 14 I became an apprentice motor mechanic. At 16 I was fighting bush fires, floods and risked my life doing both. I saved our home from the fires with mention of it in the newspapers. (No medals though – where I lived they were reserved for the rich and religious) I trained as a boxer and won three bouts before quitting.

I served in the CMF (Infantry reserves – The Macquarie Regiment) before leaving home and spent many years on the road doing all kinds of work. In Sydney I worked as a metal Polisher, then as a qualified Die Setter. Worked with a male Nurse in an Alcoholic ward and caring for TB patients, then as Head Waiter. I worked caring for the destitute and destitute veterans and as an escort for institutionalized veterans to REPAT. Met and befriended a CMF Commando who regularly taught me “close combat” over the four years we worked together. He was a Lithographic Printer, where I worked as a Die setter. I had written hundreds of poems by this time and some of my early ones were lost due to me giving then the local newspaper to publish (but I was the wrong religion) and I never saw them again.

I raised, coached, and captained a soccer team, which was in the second Division of the Sydney competition. I also played with Gladesville in the first division, later also for the Commonwealth Forces Malaysia.

I was taught to play chess by Len Berry – I studied the game and reached “expert” level I; played and defeated a chess computer at expert level and have some recorded games. I don’t play anymore.

I joined the Australian Army in 1964 aged 24, served two years in Malaysia and one year in Vietnam. I served as Limber Gunner in Malaysia, and qualified as an Aircraft Loader Team Leader; Gunner; Battery medic (advanced medical course) attaining the rank of Bombardier before electing discharge in 1970.

Explored and mapped the “Big River” Clarance, for the hell of it, by Kayak and small out –board; explored the length and breadth of the Great Dividing Range between Taree and the Queensland border by 4x4 and off road bikes and studied and photographed wild life (just for the hell of it) Went fishing. Bought a 15’ Cruise-craft and fished off the Continental Shelf – always alone.

Collected a very large library; studied religion – freemasonry – people – war – war machines – ships airplanes – guns – demolitions, compared reality to teaching; tested my theories (still do); became expert at collecting information from people who did not want to give it. Also studied extensively – living off the land (much early stuff in my book about Dingoes) animal traps – guerrilla warfare – and in recent years from about 2001 (I read no poetry previously lest it influence my own – I developed to the 14 lines from previously using 10 lines) all the most famous old poets. I have my own extensive collection of studied profiles, based on my life’s experiences.

I have written a history of the Vietnam War (not quite complete) A History of the Conflict in Borneo; a Family History; a History of Australia; and a lot of things I have forgotten.

I have many awards for many things and though I appreciate them I do not “boast” of nor reveal many of them since they are not important to me; I do not seek accolades, though I enjoy them; I love my wife; our children; my brothers and sisters in Arms. I am honest; loyal; do not deliberately lie about anything; have nothing to hide; and am open to any question you may want to ask me.

From memory, my Military medals are:

  • The Returned from Active Service Badge (the one I treasure)
  • The Active Service Medal 45-75
  • The Vietnam Medal (star)
  • Service Medal (Vietnam)
  • The Australian Service Medal SE Asia 45–75