Memorial plaque unveiled to Battle of Waterloo hero

PUBLISHED: 24 October 2022

A new memorial plaque commemorating the life of Capt. Jesse Jones was officially unveiled on Friday, 21 October in St Botolph's Churchyard.

Capt. Jesse Jones, who fought at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, had a distinguished military career in the early 19th century as a soldier in the 1st Regiment of Foot Guards, now known as the Grenadier Guards.

In 1811, he fought against France under Napoleon, seeing action in Spain at the Battle of Barossa during the Peninsular War.

During the Battle of Waterloo, Jones was wounded in the chest by a musket ball. In his later years, while living in Colchester, he used to recount his war exploits by displaying the actual musket ball.

Jones served for almost 21 years, from June 1804 until his retirement in April 1823, and subsequently became the adjutant, or administrative officer, in the East Essex Militia with the rank of captain.

Jones died in 1868, aged 81, and was buried in St Botolph's churchyard. Over the years, the inscription on his gravestone has become difficult to read, leading Colchester Civic Society and Colchester Borough Council, through Colchester and Ipswich Museums, to ensure he is properly commemorated.

The new bronze plaque installed on Jones’s grave was unveiled in the presence of the Mayor of Colchester Cllr Tim Young, the Right Reverend Roger Morris the Bishop of Colchester, as well as representatives of Colchester Civic Society, Colchester Borough Council and the Garrison.

Cllr Pam Cox, Portfolio Holder for Museums and Heritage, said: "Jesse Jones is a remarkable individual in the story of 19th century Colchester. I am delighted the council has been able to support Colchester Civic Society in its work to ensure Jones's story is not forgotten.”

Page last reviewed: 24 October 2022


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