Aussie son appeals for information on missing Newport dad
5:48pm Thursday 15th August 2013 in News
THE son of a Newport man missing for more than half a century has pleaded on people in the city to help find his long-lost father.
John Charles Jones, who would now be 91, moved to Australia with his family in May 1962.
Mr Jones had grown up in Newport having been born at the Woolaston House infirmary in June 1922. He was raised under the name Ernest Webley.
The family want to end their long wait for closure and are desperate to know what actually happened to Mr Jones.
The appeal has made the news across several media outlets in Australia.
Allan Jones, a 57-year-old electrician in Victoria, has spearheaded the search for his father since the local police started reviewing old case files two years ago. They could not close several files, including Mr Jones’.
He said: “My father is a missing person. I’m just waiting for feedback at the minute, and hope people in Newport can help in any way.
“Until we find otherwise, we have to be optimistic [that he is still alive]. If he has passed away then at least we know where he is or was. We all want to know.
“I found my cousins in Newport on ancestry.com in 2010, and I’ve kept in touch and gone over there twice since. I’ve got eight other cousins in the UK that I didn’t know about.
“There were rumours when I went over there two years ago that he went to his mother’s funeral in August 1981, but nothing was confirmed.
“I was only seven when he left. It’s so long ago that I’ve got no anger towards him. My sister was probably the most upset, because she was 15 at the time.”
John Charles Jones, his wife, and their eight children settled into their new life in the small town Shepparton, about 110 miles north of Melbourne in the state of Victoria.
Mrs Jones, now 84, was pregnant with the couple’s ninth child and Mr Jones had secured work as a linesman with the Post Masters General.
But one morning, dressed in his works overalls, he headed out of the family home in Newtown Road and was never seen again.
His family were so convinced that Mr Jones had returned to the UK, they didn’t report him missing for four years.
He was believed to have been struggling badly with homesickness, and his wife, who is now in a care home, believed he may have come home to Newport.
At the time of his disappearance he was described as being around five ft nine ins tall of medium build with hazel eyes and a Welsh accent.
Police are urging anyone with information to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or visit www.crimestoppers.com.au.