TRIBUTES have continued to pour in following the death of Ron Jones, who survived Auschwitz as a prisoner of war.

Mr Jones entered the limelight in his mid-80s after speaking publicly of his incarceration at Auschwitz Extermination Camp, in a bid to raise awareness of the horrors of war and conflict in the Second World War.

He later dedicated his life to selling poppies for the Royal British Legion.

He died at the Royal Gwent Hospital this week, aged 102. News of his death prompted a wave of tributes.

Newport County AFC described the late soldier as an “ardent” supporter of the club, before adding: "[We] would like to pass on our most sincere condolences to Ron's family and friends at this very sad time."

South Wales Argus:

(Ron Jones selling poppies last year)

The chief executive of Pontypool RFC, Ben Jeffreys, tweeted: "Really sad to read of Ron Jones’ passing.

"I will never forget the talk he gave during our assembly at Duffryn High School in 2006. It was truly awe inspiring. He was a truly inspirational man and I’ll miss seeing him when buying my poppy this year.”


Friend Mike Jones, of the Royal British Legion, hailed him as an “inspiration to all that met him”.

“He was the humblest gentleman I have met,” he said.

“Never saying no to supporting the Poppy Appeal by collecting or giving talks to groups, schools and the like. He wasn’t just a volunteer but a friend and an inspiration to all that met him.

“It was an honour to be able to call him my friend. Farewell, sir, your duty is done.”

The MP for Newport West, Ruth Jones, also paid tribute: “We have all known Ron for many years and admired his tenacity and drive especially with his annual poppy selling.

“Ron also did an excellent job visiting the schools in Newport to talk about the suffering and cost caused by war. I am very sad to hear of his loss and we are all the poorer for his passing.”

South Wales Argus:

(Ron Jones with former Newport mayor Cllr David Fouweather and leader of the council Cllr Debbie Wilcox)

Jessica Morden, MP for Newport East, also shared touching words, saying: “Ron Jones lived an extraordinary and inspiring life. He was a fantastic representative for the Royal British Legion and did so much to promote the Poppy Appeal in his home city of Newport and across the country.”

John Griffiths, AM for Newport East, recalled his many meetings with Mr Jones.

He said: “I always found him to be a friendly, quiet and unassuming gentleman with a courageous story of how he survived the horrors of Auschwitz. Ron was able to use this knowledge to raise awareness of the Holocaust and became a good ambassador for Newport when speaking out against genocide.”

The AM for Newport West, Jayne Bryant, also paid tribute, describing him as a “treasure”.

“He was undeniably not only a Newport treasure but a national one,” she said.

“His harrowing personal account of the Second World War was always contrasted by his heart-warming dedication to charity work which justifiably earned him plaudits from across the country. He will be sorely missed, and I wish his family all the best.”

Councillor Debbie Wilcox, leader of Newport City Council, said: “Ron Jones was an outstanding Newport citizen who achieved so much in his long life.

“He was one of the first recipients of the council’s Spirit of Newport award and with good reason. He faced difficult times with courage and fortitude; he devoted many years to helping others and was much respected and admired by all those who knew him or knew of him.

“My sympathies to his family and friends who I hope will find comfort in the fact that Ron occupied a special place in the hearts of the city and its residents as well as many other people.”

And the leader of the opposition, Cllr Matthew Evans, added: “I knew Ron for a number of years.

“He was extremely active in the community and was highly regarded. He was very unassuming, and I know he will be greatly missed.

“He left a lasting impact on everyone he met.”

Mr Jones is survived by his son and two granddaughters.