M Quayle Jones

Brigadier Morey Quayle Jones CB CMG CBE DL was a Founder of the Lodge. He was born in 1855, the son of a vicar and went to Wellington in 1870 with two other founders, Bros Haines and Edgell, and a later joining member, Bro Bevir. He was in the Orange.

Quayle Jones was commissioned into the 6th of Foot in 1873, later the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, making Captain ten years later. 1884 saw him serving as a Major with the 4th Pioneer Bechuanaland Field Force and 1898 saw him with the Nile Expedition as part of the Second Sudan War re-treading the paths of Dalgety and company.  

In between these African adventures he found time to study for and be called to the Bar. The Army was not a reliable nor consistent employer in those days (or indeed still, some might argue) and unless there were battles to fight, barracks life and half pay were not a tempting proposition. Unfortunately no record remains of his legal career.

From 1891 to 1894 he was commandant of the School of Instruction for the Auxiliary Forces at Aldershot and by 1898 he was back in his regiment, in Africa and in command.

On the Nile Expedition of 1898 and still a Major, Quayle Jones temporarily commanded his regiment as a result of an early posting for the outgoing Commanding Officer and late arrival of his successor, just long enough for Quayle Jones to see the 1st Battalion through the battle of Atbara.

Tasked with retaking the Sudan from the self proclaimed Mahdi, Osman Digna, (Bro) Lord Kitchener ordered his combined Anglo-Egyptian force to attack the unusually reticent Mahdi forces at Atbara. The Warwickshires under Quayle Jones held the left flank and were charged with protecting it from the Mahdi Cavalry.

The regimental history tells of a short, hard fight:

 “at close quarters amid the trenches and huts within the enclosure. But the British, breaking in at the north-eastern end, enfiladed the enemy with their terrible rifle fire, and the whole force, advancing steadily, drove the Dervishes in hopeless confusion to the river bed.”*

The reality can only be guessed at amid a typical example of stiff-upper-lipped understatement. For his part Quayle Jones was given the Order of the Bath and welcomed Colonel Forbes, the overdue CO, the next day. All in a days work. Forbes must have rued his delay.

In 1901 he joined many of the brethren, other OWs and his comrades in South Africa but his stay was brief as the same year saw him despatched to Bermuda as Assistant Adjutant General for Prisoners of War, a harder posting than modern reading would at first suggest, a time before modern medicine.

He returned home safely and after retiring in 1909 became Deputy Lieutenant for Warwickshire and Assistant Provincial Grand Master for the Province, and still found time to be a founding member of our Lodge.

He had been initiated in Alderney into Doyle’s Lodge of Fellowship No 84, and was a joining member of Aldershot Army & Navy Lodge No 1971.

Civilian life was not going to be allowed to keep him when in 1914 the Great War saw him return to the colours commanding first the 104th Infantry Brigade from 1914-1915 and later the 11th Reserve Brigade in 1916.

He was made a CMG in 1917 and a CBE in 1919.

He died in 1946, aged 91.

* CH. XV, Pg 109-115: ATBARA AND KHARTOUM, 1898. The Story Of The Royal Warwickshire Regiment. C. L. Kingsford

The image above shows him at the centre of the group with the Royal Warwickshire’s regimental mascot, Bobby.