Betty is surrounded by her loved ones to mark her 100th birthday
A woman who helped to console the relatives of Norfolk-based fighter pilots who died in the Second World War has celebrated her 100th birthday. Betty Jones was joined by more than 50 family members and friends to mark the occasion at the Oaklands care home, in Scole, where she lives. Born in Martham, near Great Yarmouth, she was the youngest of six and had a stepsister and four brothers. In 1938, she married a doctor, Eric Jones, and they settled into a busy family practice in Norton, Suffolk. Suffolk. However, as war approached, Dr Jones, a pilot, had volunteered his services to the RAF Volunteer Reserve, and was called up with the onset of the Battle of Britain.
The couple were hurriedly posted to RAF Coltishall, along with their infant son. Dr Jones became Medical Officer to 242 Squadron RAF, under the command of Douglas Bader and his wife’s help was sought by the Adjutant in consoling and supporting the loved ones of pilots lost in the air battles. Ten years after the war ended, the couple and their family now numbering three children migrated to Southern Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe. As a gardener, the new challenges of exotic tropical plants brought her many productive hours. She also assisted a small local dairy farmer with milk deliveries and was hired to assist running some companies’ guest houses. She maintained her love of animals, especially horses. The couple moved to Suffolk 40 years ago and settled in Eye. Mrs Jones continued horse riding and rode with the Suffolk Hunt. Her husband died 27 years ago.