Interview with Cyril Jones


Interview with Cyril Jones




00:05:56 audio recording


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Cyril Ernest Jones aged 94
Joined the RAF Marine Craft Unit March 1941. Initial training RAF Wilmslow. Posted RAF Molesworth after training then posted overseas Jan 1942. After 4 months sailing at high seas posted to RAF Habbaniyah set to work in Command Marine Officer’s office. Remustered to motor boat crew a few months later. Posted to RAF Basra Iraq. Whilst stationed at Basra sent to Port Said Egypt for 2nd and 3rd class coxswain’s course.
I was still at Basra promoted to corporal and sergeant. As sergeant posted to 219 SAR Basra. Posted to RAF Bahrain in the Persian Gulf. After a month posted home end of tour.
Stationed at RAF Mount Batten spent 4 years there then posted back to Basra but stopped at Verbania as the officers did not think it fair to do 2 years in the Persian Gulf. Went to RAF Fanara Egypt. After a short stay at Fanara posted 1153 MCU Fanara. After which posted RAF Cyros Cyprus. At Cyros I was joined by my wife and daughter. After 4 years I returned to the UK and posted to RAF Mount Matten again. Posted to Malta after 3 or 4 years again with my wife and daughter. After 4 years I returned to the UK to RAF Immingham. On close of the unit posted back to RAF Mount Batten. Whilst there I spent 3 years instructing. From there I went to Tobruck North Africa. I returned again to RAF Mount Batten at end of tour and was posted from Mount Batten to Falmouth where I finished my service.
I joined in 1941 and left in 1975.

Launches served on
60ft Pinnaces
41 ft. Sea Plane Tenders
Z Craft
Rank Cargo Lighters
63 ft. HSLs
Army Search and Rescue Boats

Promotions were
RAF Basra LAC Corporal and Sergeant
RAF Malta Flight Sergeant
RAF Tobruck Warrant Officer

I had an interesting journey from Basra to Port Said; no-one seemed to know how to get there. I contacted the Sergeant in the Orderly Room. Information received go from Habbaniyah to Baghdad by RAF bus, Baghdad to Syria Damascus by local bus. From Syria to Haifa by train and by train from Haifa to Cairo and from Cairo to Port Said by train. This trip took 3 months, it was a hell of a journey when I completed the course he said return the same way you came to Basra. After six months returned to Port Said for 1st Class Coxswain’s course. Then returned to Basra by flying boat from Cairo to Basra, the whole trip took 6 hours instead of 3 months.
The other trip of note was a trip from 1153 MCU to Limassol to work with the Royal Navy recovering mines. Job completed set off on return trip, half way along the north coast of Cyprus the boat started taking on water seriously which we could not contain with the pumps. In conjunction with the skipper, Flt Lt Stone, we decided the only option was to send a mayday. Having sent a mayday was to strand the boat on the nearest beach. Having put the boat on the beach I jumped over the side with the blow line which I made fast to a palm tree. After about 10 minutes the starboard side of the boat fell in to the water. We all managed to get ashore safely where we were met by a party from 1153 MCU from where we returned to the base by boat.


“Interview with Cyril Jones,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed May 25, 2024,

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