Attention: You are using an outdated browser, device or you do not have the latest version of JavaScript downloaded and so this website may not work as expected. Please download the latest software or switch device to avoid further issues.

News > Rugbeian Society News > Harlech erects blue plaque in memory of war hero and Rugbeian, Major Bryan Hilton-Jones (St 32-36)

Harlech erects blue plaque in memory of war hero and Rugbeian, Major Bryan Hilton-Jones (St 32-36)

On Sunday 2nd June a Blue Plaque was unveiled to commemorate Major Bryan Hilton-Jones M.C. (St 32-36) and the Commandos he trained during WWII. Hilton-Jones was born in Harlech in 1918, the grandson of the town’s physician. His father, also a doctor, had also won a Military Cross and, at the time, was serving with the Royal Army Medical Corps.

After joining the commandos he recruited and trained X Troop, mainly German speaking German and Austrian Jews who had escaped Europe before and in the early days of the conflict. Many formally anglicised their name in case of capture. By coincidence, some of their training was undertaken in Hilton- Jones’ hometown. This included running to, up and back from Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa) in full kit. They also scaled the walls of Harlech Castle, much to the surprise of the Home Guard! After their training, they were assigned to different units and their linguistic abilities proved vital in the interrogation of enemy soldiers captured during raids into occupied Europe before D-Day.

Major Hilton-Jones survived the war but was tragically killed in Spain in 1969 along with some close family members.

The plaque was put up on Cambrian House on the High Street. This is where the troop’s informal social club met. It was called the “Melting Pot”, because military ranks were not used. It is now a grocer’s shop, but was once a butchers run by Peter Jones, a distant cousin of the Major.

The moving ceremony was attended by members of the Hilton-Jones family, relatives of the commandos, representatives of Jewish military organisations, visitors and local residents. Also in attendance were the Lord Lieutenant for Gwynedd, Mr Edmund Bailey, and the High Sheriff, Ms Sarah Foskett. The plaque itself was unveiled by Mrs Nerys Pipkin, surviving daughter of Bryan Hilton-Jones.

The proceedings were introduced by Councillor Gwynfor Owen, Harlech & Llanbedr’s representative on Gwynedd County Council and Councillor Giles Bentham, Harlech Town Council, welcomed everyone. Councillor Owen, in his opening speech said “it was an honour to take part in the proceedings and thanked everyone who had done the hard work in preparing for the event especially Charles Rissbrook, Jane Jones and Giles Bentham”.

After the unveiling, the participants and attending public moved to the Memorial Hall for a recital by the Ardudwy Male Voice Choir, a display of photographs, speeches and refreshments. The project was initiated and co-ordinated by Mr Charles Rissbrook, a family friend.

Piece written by Giles Bentham (Sh 67-72)

Similar stories

Most read

Have your say



Rugbeian Community Office

✉ Email us

+44 (0) 1788 556 139

© Rugby School 2022

Charity Registration Number 528752

This website is powered by