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These hall-marked silver spoons, engraved with the inscription ‘Pte. H.E. Jones – 1906 – ’ belonged to Henry Edward Jones, who was born in 1885 in Builth. On 21 December 1901, while working as a carpenter and joiner, he joined the 1st Volunteer Battalion of the South Wales Borderers: this became the ‘Brecknockshire Battalion’ after volunteer units were transferred into a new Territorial Force in 1907. These volunteer soldiers were paid a small amount of money for taking part in regular training and for attending an annual camp. The specific competition at which Pte. H.E. Jones won these spoons has not been identified. However, many facts emerge from the reports in the Brecon County Times on the activities of the different volunteer companies in the county, and, particularly on those of ‘E’ Company in Builth. For instance, he won a prize of 5s for being the best recruit in musketry in December 1902; he was among the top scorers in the company’s annual shooting competition in August 1903, winning 11s at the end of that year; and at the South Wales Borderer Voluntary Infantry Brigade’s camp held at Conway in July 1906 he came 11th out of 40 prize-winners in the General Competition (7 shots at 200 yards), winning a prize of 8/6d. His name appears on several occasions in the regular reports of the weekly ‘Morris Tube spoon competition’ which appeared in the winter of 1907/8. (The Morris Aiming Tube was apparently a sub-calibre barrel inserted into the barrel of a large-bore rifle or pistol for training or short-range target practice.) It may therefore be assumed that he won the spoons during similar competitions in 1906. He left the battalion in August 1908 on joining the Breconshire Constabulary: he served in many places in southern Breconshire, finally becoming the Sergeant at Brynmawr for many years, and retiring in 1938.

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