Alun Gwynne Jones, Baron Chalfont

Last updated

The Lord Chalfont

Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F021984-0013, Auswartiges Amt, Staatsminister Grossbritannien.jpg
Chalfont during a visit to Germany in 1966
Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
In office
17 October 1968 19 June 1970
Prime Minister Harold Wilson
Preceded byHimself
Succeeded by Joseph Godber
Minister of State for Foreign Affairs
In office
23 October 1964 17 October 1968
Prime Minister Harold Wilson
Preceded by Peter Thomas
Succeeded byHimself
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
In office
11 November 1964 10 November 2015
Life Peerage
Personal details
Alun Arthur Gwynne Jones

(1919-12-05) 5 December 1919 (age 99)
Nationality British
Political party Labour
Crossbencher [1]
Occupation Politician
Lord Provest
Military career
AllegianceUnited Kingdom
Service/branchFlag of the British Army.svg  British Army
Years of service1939–61
Rank Lieutenant Colonel
Service number 156400
Unit South Wales Borderers
Awards Officer of the Order of the British Empire
Military Cross
Efficiency Medal

Alun Arthur Gwynne Jones, Baron Chalfont, OBE , MC , PC (born 5 December 1919) is a British politician, retired British Army officer and historian.

Military Cross third-level military decoration of the British Armed Forces, Commonwealth officers

The Military Cross (MC) is the third-level military decoration awarded to officers and other ranks of the British Armed Forces, and formerly awarded to officers of other Commonwealth countries.

Privy Council of the United Kingdom Formal body of advisers to the sovereign in the United Kingdom

Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, usually known simply as the Privy Council of the United Kingdom or just the Privy Council, is a formal body of advisers to the Sovereign of the United Kingdom. Its membership mainly comprises senior politicians, who are current or former members of either the House of Commons or the House of Lords.

United Kingdom Country in Europe

The United Kingdom, officially the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland but more commonly known as the UK or Britain, is a sovereign country lying off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state‍—‌the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi), the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world. It is also the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.


Early life and military career

Gwynne Jones was educated at West Monmouth School, and subsequently at the School of Slavonic Studies in the University of London. [2] Joining the South Wales Borderers when the Second World War broke out, he was commissioned a second lieutenant on 2 November 1940. [3] From 1941 to 1944 he fought in Burma alongside the Welsh poet Alun Lewis. [4] On 1 January 1943, he received an emergency commission in the Royal Armoured Corps as a war-substantive lieutenant, with the same rank in the South Wales Borderers from 1 April. [5] [6] After the war, Gwynne Jones remained in the Army, receiving a substantive lieutenant's commission in the South Wales Borderers on 24 August 1946 (with seniority from 5 June 1942), and was promoted to captain on 5 December. [7] [8] He was awarded the Efficiency Medal in October 1950. [9] Promoted to major on 5 December 1953, [10] Gwynne Jones took part in a series of anti-terrorist campaigns, and was decorated with the Military Cross (MC) in August 1957 for commanding a company which fought in the Malaysian jungles during the Malayan Emergency, after his involvement in a series of ambushes against communists. Gwynne Jones later stated, "I was lucky enough to carry out some successful ones."[ citation needed ] The citation reads as follows:

UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies

The UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies is a school of University College London (UCL) specializing in Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe, Russia and Eurasia.

South Wales Borderers

The South Wales Borderers was a line infantry regiment of the British Army in existence for 280 years. It first came into existence, as the 24th Regiment of Foot in 1689. Based at Brecon the regiment recruited from the border counties of Monmouthshire, Herefordshire and Brecknockshire, but was not called the South Wales Borderers until the Childers Reforms of 1881. The regiment served in a great many conflicts, including the American Revolutionary War, various conflicts in India, the Zulu War, Second Boer War, and World War I and World War II. In 1969 the regiment was amalgamated with the Welch Regiment to form the Royal Regiment of Wales.

Second lieutenant is a junior commissioned officer military rank in many armed forces, comparable to NATO OF-1a rank.

For gallantry and relentless determination during a period of eighteen months in command of his company in jungle operations. By his personal share in difficult, hazardous and successful operations, he set a fine example to those around him. [11]

Gwynne Jones was brevetted to lieutenant-colonel on 1 July 1960, [12] and was decorated as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 1961 Birthday Honours. [13] He retired from the army on 30 June 1961 with the honorary rank of lieutenant-colonel. [14]

Lieutenant colonel, is a rank in the British Army and Royal Marines which is also used in many Commonwealth countries. The rank is superior to major, and subordinate to colonel. The comparable Royal Navy rank is commander, and the comparable rank in the Royal Air Force and many Commonwealth air forces is wing commander.

Order of the British Empire order of chivalry of British constitutional monarchy

The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is a British order of chivalry, rewarding contributions to the arts and sciences, work with charitable and welfare organisations, and public service outside the civil service. It was established on 4 June 1917 by King George V and comprises five classes across both civil and military divisions, the most senior two of which make the recipient either a knight if male or dame if female. There is also the related British Empire Medal, whose recipients are affiliated with, but not members of, the order.

The Queen's Birthday Honours 1961 were appointments in many of the Commonwealth realms of Queen Elizabeth II to various orders and honours to reward and highlight good works by citizens of those countries.

Political life

Created a peer, becoming Lord Chalfont, he was a minister in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office from 1964 to 1970 and appointed to the Privy Council in the former year. On 27 March 1967, in the House of Lords, Chalfont became the spokesman/figurehead for Harold Wilson's Labour Government's attempt to divest Britain of the Falkland Islands. In November 1968 Chalfont travelled to the Falklands to canvas the people, and try to persuade them of the merit in becoming Argentine citizens. He was sent away in no doubt that the islanders wished to remain British, but, on his return to Britain, he reported, “I do not believe that the Falkland Islands can continue to exist for many years, as they are presently constituted. I believe one day that the Falkland Islands may be prepared to choose Argentine sovereignty. We must at all costs avoid giving the impression that we want to get rid of them, since that would set up precisely the reaction we would want to avoid”.[ citation needed ]

Foreign and Commonwealth Office Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the United Kingdom

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), commonly called the Foreign Office, is a department of the Government of the United Kingdom. It is responsible for protecting and promoting British interests worldwide. It was created in 1968 by merging the Foreign Office and the Commonwealth Office.

House of Lords upper house in the Parliament of the United Kingdom

The House of Lords, also known as the House of Peers, is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Membership is granted respectively ruled by appointment, heredity or official function. Like the House of Commons, it meets in the Palace of Westminster. Officially, the full name of the house is the Right Honourable the Lords Spiritual and Temporal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled.

Chalfont resigned from the Labour Party in the early 1970s. He declared his resignation a "decision of personal and political principle". In October 1974, just after Labour won a second general election that year, he stated in an interview with the BBC journalist Robin Day: "I had hoped for a realignment of the politics of the radical left in this country and I believed when I left the Labour Party that a great success by the Liberal Party in this election could have helped that forward."[ citation needed ]

He is the author of several military history books on subjects including the Napoleonic Wars.

He was created Baron Chalfont, of Llantarnam in the County of Monmouthshire on 11 November 1964. [15] His life peerage is the most senior extant (since the death of Lord Shawcross in 2003), and Lord Chalfont is placed higher in the order of precedence than four hereditary barons whose inherited titles were created after his.

He contributed an article on The Strategic Defence Initiative to the Conservative Monday Club's October 1985 Conservative Party Conference issue of their newspaper, Right Ahead. Chalfont is a former chairman of the Radio Authority which regulated commercial radio in the UK until its role was absorbed by Ofcom. Chalfont set up the Institute for the Study of Terrorism with Jillian Becker in 1985.

He retired from the House of Lords on 10 November 2015.

Styles of address

Marriage and child

Chalfont was married to Mona Mitchell, daughter of Harry Douglas Mitchell, in 1948. She died on 31 May 2008. Together they had one child, a daughter.


Related Research Articles

Peter Carington, 6th Baron Carrington British Conservative politician

Peter Alexander Rupert Carington, 6th Baron Carrington,, was a British Conservative politician and hereditary peer who served as Defence Secretary from 1970 to 1974, Foreign Secretary from 1979 to 1982, chairman of British General Electric Company from 1983 to 1984, and Secretary General of NATO from 1984 to 1988. Before his death in 2018, he was the last surviving member of the 1951–55 government of Winston Churchill, the Eden government, and the Macmillan government, as well as of the cabinets of Alec Douglas-Home and Edward Heath. Following the House of Lords Act 1999, which removed the automatic right of hereditary peers to sit in the House of Lords, Carrington was created a life peer as Baron Carington of Upton.

John Llewellin, 1st Baron Llewellin British politician

Colonel John Jestyn Llewellin, 1st Baron Llewellin was a British army officer, Conservative Party politician and minister in Winston Churchill's war government.

Hugh Foot, Baron Caradon British diplomat

Hugh Mackintosh Foot, Baron Caradon, was a British colonial administrator and diplomat who presided over moves to Independence in various colonies and was UK representative to the United Nations.

Edwin Bramall British field marshal, Chief of General Staff, Chief of Defence Staff

Field Marshal Edwin Noel Westby Bramall, Baron Bramall, is a retired senior British Army officer. He served as Chief of the General Staff, the professional head of the British Army, between 1979 and 1982, and as Chief of the Defence Staff, professional head of the British Armed Forces, from 1982 to 1985. He developed the concept of the "Fifth Pillar" pulling together the activities of defence attachés to form a structure for intervention in smaller countries.

General Sir Roger Neil Wheeler, is a retired British Army officer who served as Chief of the General Staff from 1997 to 2000. During his career he was involved in the Cyprus Emergency, directed military operations in Northern Ireland and led the UK's forces deployed on NATO operations in Bosnia. He is now a non-executive director of several businesses operating on an international basis.

William Ormsby-Gore, 4th Baron Harlech British politician and banker

William George Arthur Ormsby-Gore, 4th Baron Harlech, was a British Conservative politician and banker.

H. Jones British Army officer, Victoria Cross recipient

Lieutenant Colonel Herbert Jones,, known as H. Jones, was a British Army officer and posthumous recipient of the Victoria Cross (VC). He was awarded the VC after being killed in action during the Battle of Goose Green for his actions as commanding officer of the 2nd Battalion, Parachute Regiment during the Falklands War.

Andrew Douglas Alexander Thomas Bruce, 11th Earl of Elgin and 15th Earl of Kincardine, styled Lord Bruce before 1968, is a Scottish peer.

Terence Lewin Royal Navy admiral of the fleet

Admiral of the Fleet Terence Thornton Lewin, Baron Lewin, was a Royal Navy officer. He served in the Second World War and then commanded a destroyer, the Royal yacht, two frigates and an aircraft carrier before achieving higher command. He was First Sea Lord and Chief of the Naval Staff in the late 1970s and in that role he worked hard to secure a decent wage for servicemen and helped win them a 32% pay rise. He went on to be Chief of the Defence Staff during the Falklands War, serving as chief war planner and as Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's chief advisor during the war. He was also the first Chief of Defence Staff to act as head of the Armed Forces rather than just Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee.

Peter Anthony Grayson Rawlinson, Baron Rawlinson of Ewell, PC, QC was an English barrister, politician and author. He was Conservative Member of Parliament for Epsom for 23 years, from 1955 to 1978, and held the offices of Solicitor General (1962–1964) and Attorney General for England and Wales (1970–1974) and for Northern Ireland (1972–1974). Had he been appointed Lord Chancellor, as seemed likely during the mid-1970s, he would have been the first Roman Catholic to hold that position since Thomas More in 1532.

Norman Brook, 1st Baron Normanbrook British noble and civil servant

Norman Craven Brook, 1st Baron Normanbrook,, known as Sir Norman Brook between 1946 and 1964, was a British civil servant. He was Cabinet Secretary between 1947 and 1962 as well as joint permanent secretary to HM Treasury and head of the Home Civil Service from 1956 to 1962.

General David John Ramsbotham, Baron Ramsbotham is a retired British Army officer, who later served as Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Prisons. He was awarded a life peerage in 2005, and now sits on the cross benches of the House of Lords.

General Sir Frank Edward Kitson, & Bar, DL is a retired British Army officer and writer on military subjects, notably low intensity operations. He rose to be Commander-in-Chief UK Land Forces from 1982 to 1985 and was Aide-de-Camp General to Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom from 1983 to 1985.

Major-General Sir James Arthur "Jack" d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, 3rd Baronet, was a British Army officer and British Conservative politician. He was a member of the prominent Anglo-Jewish d'Avigdor-Goldsmid family, and his brother Sir Henry d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, 2nd Baronet was also a Member of Parliament.

John Taylor, Baron Ingrow British politician

John Aked Taylor, Baron Ingrow was a British soldier, brewer and Conservative politician.

Brigadier Peter Bevil Edward Acland, OBE, MC, TD, DL, JP, OStJ was a British soldier.

Hugh Trefusis Brassey British Army officer and magistrate

Colonel Sir Hugh Trefusis Brassey was a British soldier and magistrate.

Paul Norman Wilson, Baron Wilson of High Wray was a British engineer, Lord Lieutenant of Westmorland and of Cumbria and Governor of the BBC.

Valerian Wellesley, 8th Duke of Wellington senior British peer and a retired Brigadier in the British Army

Brigadier Arthur Valerian Wellesley, 8th Duke of Wellington,, styled Marquess of Douro between 1943 and 1972, was a senior British peer and a brigadier in the British Army. His main residence was Stratfield Saye House in Hampshire.

Lieutenant-Colonel Sir George James Cullum Welch, 1st Baronet,, commonly known as Sir Cullum Welch, was a British Army officer, businessman, and member of the City of London Corporation, who served as Lord Mayor of London between 1956 and 1957.


  1. "Lord Chalfont". UK Parliament. Retrieved 5 October 2014.
  3. "No. 34995". The London Gazette (Supplement). 15 November 1940. p. 6624.
  4. See The Fragile Universe: A Portrait of Alun Lewis, dir. by John Ormond (Cardiff: BBC Wales, 1969)
  5. "No. 36085". The London Gazette (Supplement). 6 July 1943. p. 3104.
  6. "No. 36182". The London Gazette (Supplement). 21 September 1943. p. 4238.
  7. "No. 37698". The London Gazette (Supplement). 20 August 1946. p. 4238.
  8. "No. 37823". The London Gazette (Supplement). 17 December 1946. p. 6168.
  9. "No. 39039". The London Gazette (Supplement). 13 October 1950. p. 5082.
  10. "No. 40033". The London Gazette (Supplement). 1 December 1953. p. 6588.
  11. "No. 41257". The London Gazette (Supplement). 17 December 1957. p. 7428.
  12. "No. 42112". The London Gazette (Supplement). 5 August 1960. p. 5451.
  13. "No. 42370". The London Gazette (Supplement). 2 June 1961. p. 4149.
  14. "No. 42400". The London Gazette (Supplement). 27 June 1961. p. 4838.
  15. "No. 43492". The London Gazette . 17 November 1964. p. 9821.
Honorary titles
Preceded by
The Lord Shawcross
Senior life peer