From the Dorkinian Issue No. 16 Spring 2000 article by Alun Jones, edited by David A Jones 2nd May 2013


Dr Trefor Jones (1908‑1984)


He was born in Aberdare in South Wales, one of five boys and twin girls*. His father was a schoolteacher and eventually a headmaster in Aberdare. Dr Jones was educated at Aberdare County School for Boys and then the University College of Wales, Cardiff where he gained second class honours in French and double first class honours in teaching. He played soccer for the University and would have played in an amateur international trial had there not been a date clash for a family funeral – for which his parents insisted he attended. He met his future wife, Marion Miles, when they were teenagers in Aberdare. They married when he was on his first teaching post at Truro School in Cornwall. She was also a teacher but had to hide the marriage as married women were expected to resign their teaching posts. Dr Jones then moved to Mitcham to teach French and just before the Second War he was appointed Head of French at Woking Grammar School in Surrey. There he coached soccer and cricket and was very involved in the Air Training Corps. He was acting head for some years during the fatal ilness of the head, George Lester.


It was from Woking that he was appointed Headmaster of Dorking County Grammar School in 1943 at the age of 35. It was his first experience of teaching in a mixed school but he gathered around him a first class team of teachers, many of whom stayed at the school for a long time While at Dorking he completed a Ph D thesis on the life and work of a 18th Century French priest and educationalist ‑ so he became Doctor Jones. He left Dorking County Grammar School in 1957 to become Headmaster of the Latymer School in Edmonton in North London, This is a mixed Grammar School of 1200 students with a very long history. There, as at Dorking, he was very successful and built the school into a major academic centre in North London The games, music, drama, as, well as the academic successes were very much of his inspiration. He retired at the age of 61 but continued to live in North London. He also continued to work in support of people who were teachers but not in schools or colleges ‑ teachers at Hendon Police College, in Industry and in Commerce‑ He played some golf and was very involved in the local Rotarv Club. He died in 1984 after a day on the beach with three of his grandchildren ‑ the youngest of the three had been singing at Glyndebourne and Dr Jones had seen the performance the night before. His ashes were buried, as were his wife's in 1997, in the Churchyard in Mickleham ‑ so in some ways he had come home to Surrey and Dorking.


Trefor and Marion Jones had three children. David was Professor of Genetics at the University of Hull (1973 – 89) and  was Professor of  Botany at the University of Florida in the USA (1989-2003). Alun was ordained and after work in parishes and at Hampton Grammar School became Headmaster of Archbishop Tenison's School in Croydon. He was the Anglican Vicar of Twickenham in Middlesex. Avril, who like Alun went to school at Dorking County Grammar School trained as a nurse and has lived in Toronto in Canada for the last forty years. They have produced eight grandchildren (five girls and three boys) between them with whom Dr Jones spent much of his time on retirement ‑‑ seven went to University which no doubt pleased his academic ideals. The eighth is a chartered accountant.


Trefor spent only one year in the sixth form in school. With so many children to educate, his father was anxious that as many as possible should obtain scholarships as early as possible. Trefor was awarded a scholarship to UC Wales at Cardiff on condition that he became either a teacher or a policeman. He never forgave his father for pushing him early, because he felt that had he gone to Oxford or Cambridge he would have obtained a soccer blue as well as a good degree.  The experience at Truro School taught him that there were understandings and a great deal of trust between independent schools and Cambridge and Oxford colleges.  With this background he made arrangements to discuss, and then establish, good relationships with the senior tutors of two Cambridge (Corpus Christi and St John’s) and two Oxford colleges (Worcester and another, I think). He made it his business to seek out the best all round students at Dorking – and later at Latymer -, suggest they try for open scholarships and exhibitions, and at Corpus Christi established a ‘closed scholaship’.  I think he also tried the same proceedure with a couple of the womens’ colleges, but I cannot find firm evidence for this.


*Trefor’s parents had a son – Arthur – before they were married.  Arthur remained in north Wales with relatives while his parents married and moved to Aberdare. The children who were born there (Victor, Trefor, Idris, Robert, Jenny and Anne) did not know of the existance of Arthur until their parents died. Arthur knew he had brothers and sisters and one of Trefor’s brothers had guessed the truth, but nothing was said to the others. Alun, Avril and I suddenly discovered that we had two ‘new’ cousins, one of whom often acompanied Bryn Terfel (Jones) at an early stage of his career. 


Alun Jones & David Jones