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Private Rees Jones of Taibach
Private Jones was enlisted into the Gordon Highlanders at Cardiff in 1904 The Regular BNs and indeed many of the Volunteer/Territorial BNs of the Highland Regiments of the British Army had two bands in each BN. They had a Pipes and Drums Band, always referred to in the Gordons as the “Drums and Pipes” and they had a Military Band. The Military Band was made up of brass, woodwind, percussion and drum sections and during the service years of Pte Rees Jones the 2nd Gordons also had a string section for Orchestral engagements. A cornet was one of the instruments in the Military Band
Before he enlisted into The Gordon Highlanders, Rees had been a well-known Cornetist. The Regiment was always noted for the high standard of its Military Bands. It is known that Rees especially chose to enlist into the Gordons as at the time they were regarded as having the best military orchestra. The Regiment was well known.
During the years Rees was in India the Drums and Pipes of 2nd Gordons was 50 strong with 40 musicians in the Military Band. Apparently while in India his professionalism as a cornetist was held in such high regard he was invited on one occasion to play for the Emir of Afghanistan.
The Gordon Highlanders did not recruit in Wales, but one or two Welshmen have been known to serve in it over the years of its existence. Pte Rees Jones may have been the rare Welshman during his time in India. With 2nd Gordons at Peshawar in 1906, his comrades included 911 Scots, 143 English (“English” was also the term used to classify those residing or born there of Scottish parentage or ancestry), which this number would have included some soldiers in this category, and 24 Irish.
They were respected members of the BN and proud Welshmen and Gordons
he served in India before becoming a reserve in 1908
He was re drafted in 1914 at the start of the Great War and was killed in action September 1917 and is remembered at the Tyne Cot Memorial

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