TRIBUTES are being paid to a distinguished former army colonel and deputy lieutenant of Gwent who died after a short illness.

Myrddin Jones OBE, died peacefully at Caerphilly Miner's Hospital on June 19, at the age of 93.

As well as his distinguished military record, he was also a member of Blackwood Rotary Club member for seventy years, twice its president, and a high-ranking Freemason for seventy years, a former provincial grand master in the Blackwood Lodge.

Mr Jones was born on the day of the outbreak of the First World War - August 1, 1914 - and brought up in Argoed.

After attending public school in Taunton, he worked with his father in the family business JD Jones and Son, drapers and outfitters in Argoed, which he continued to run until 1993.

A member of the Territorial Army, he was commissioned into 3 Battalion Monmouthshire Regiment in 1935.

In the Second World War he first served in France and later in Burma, for which he was later awarded the MBE.

After the war he became TA commander of the Royal Artillery at Tredegar and was awarded the OBE in the 1950s He retired from military life in 1958, and was later commandant of the Gwent army cadets.

Mr Jones' second wife Joan died aged 89 in 2005, and his son Robin died last year aged 66.

He had four grandchildren and four great grandchildren.

His stepson David Griffiths, 58, said: "He was born to serve. He served his country, the community and he served his customers in the shop."

Robert Roper, secretary of the Rotary Club of Blackwood, described Mr Jones as a "father figure" of the club who was "respected and admired by all."

Mr Jones' funeral was due to be held tomorrow at Argoed Baptist Chapel at 10.15am before cremation in Thornhill Crematorium, Cardiff, family flowers only and donations in lieu to Blackwood Rotary Club.