James W. Jones

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Thomas Jones (5 December 1809–20? November 1892) was a civil engineer born in Cowbridge in Glamorganshire, Wales who arrived in Adelaide, South Australia on 7 July 1840. He supervised rebuild of the City Bridge in 1843 and construction of the Port Elliot to Goolwa tramway from 1853 to 1856 and the Port Elliot breakwater,[1] then remained as engineer and supervisor until 1871 when the work was contracted to one J. McGeorge. He was appointed Surveyor for Moonta in 1872 and works supervisor for the (Yorke) Peninsula Road Board in 1875. He designed the Anglican Church in Moonta.[2] He was the founder of the Manchester Unity of Oddfellows in South Australia.[1]

One of his sons, T. Jones, succeeded him as Surveyor of Moonta.[1]

Another son James W. Jones (1843–26 April 1920) was a student at J. L. Young's Adelaide Educational Institution. He was soon working for his father on the Port Elliot to Goolwa tramway, for which his father received official criticism. He joined the State public service as a draughtsman in 1865 and was appointed Chief Surveyor then Deputy Surveyor-General in the Department of Survey and Crown Lands. He explored the area north-east of Eucla in 1880, and discovered the Kudna rockhole and catacombs,[3] an immense network of limestone caves, lakes and underground passages under the Nullarbor Plain.[4] He was appointed Conservator of Water in 1887[5] and Secretary to the Commissioner of Works in 1902.[2] He was secretary of the South Australia branch of the Royal Geographical Society of Australasia from its foundation in 1885 to 1894.[6][7] He was elected president of the Institute of Surveyors in 1912.[8] He was chairman and president of the Harbors and Marine Board in 1914.[9] He was secretary of the Cheer-Up Society during the First World War.[10]

He was appointed Companion of the Imperial Service Order in 1911.[11]

His elder son, George Lindsay Jones (1868?–1896), was photographer and collector on the Calvert Expedition led by Lawrence Allen Wells,[12] on which he perished in 1896 with Charles Frederick Wells.[13]

His younger son, L. C. Jones was in 1920 manager of the Bank of Adelaide at Port Augusta.[14]


  • Jones, James W, (1880), Examination of Country North-East of Eucla, Parliamentary Paper No 191, South Australian Government. (Includes map “Plan Shewing Country North-East of Eucla”, dated 24 Sep 1880). view .pdf here


  1. ^ a b c Obituary South Australian Register 22 November 1892 p.3 accessed 7 March 2011
  2. ^ a b Cumming, D. A, Moxham, G They Built South Australia Published by the authors February 1986 ISBN 0-9589111-0-X
  3. ^ Nullarbor Party Finds Catacombs, 13 January 1947, The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA), p.6
  4. ^ Secrets of Nullarbor Australian Women's Weekly 8 March 1947 p.36 accessed 7 March 2011
  5. ^ Government Gazette South Australian Advertiser 7 January 1887 p.3 accessed 7 March 2011
  6. ^ Geographical Society of Australasia South Australian Register 11 July 1885 p.6 accessed 10 March 2011
  7. ^ Geographical Society of Australasia South Australian Register 17 August 1894 p.7 accessed 10 March 2011
  8. ^ Institute of Surveyors The Advertiser p.11 19 December 1912 accessed 10 March 2011
  9. ^ The Adelaide Observatory The Advertiser 5 September 1917 p.6 accessed 10 March 2011
  10. ^ Cheer-Up Society The Advertiser 13 December 1919 p.18 accessed 10 March 2011
  11. ^ Coronation Honours The Advertiser 21 June 1911 p.17 accessed 10 March 2011
  12. ^ The Calvert expedition The Advertiser 20 May 1896 accessed 10 March 2011
  13. ^ The Wells and Jones Monument The Advertiser 7 September 1898 p.5 accessed 10 March 2011
  14. ^ Death of Mr. J. W. Jones The Advertiser Tuesday 27 April 1920 p.6 accessed 10 March 2011