|Born||27 September 1876
|Died||6 January 1900 (aged 23)
Ladysmith, South Africa
|Years of service||1896 - 1900 †|
|Battles/wars||Second Boer War|
|Other work||Royal Engineers A.F.C. player|
Robert James Thomas Digby-Jones (27 September 1876 – 6 January 1900) was a Scottish recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.
He was born at Chester Street in Edinburgh the son of Charles Digby Jones (1826-1911) and his wife, Aimee Susanna Christie. He was educated at Alnmouth and then Sedbergh School. In 1894 he was sent to the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich and trained as an officer in the Royal Engineers. He is recorded as a keen and popular sportsman, both in golf and rugby.
On 6 January 1900 during the attack on Wagon Hill (Ladysmith), South Africa, Lieutenant Digby-Jones and a trooper (Herman Albrecht) of the Imperial Light Horse led the force which re-occupied the top of the hill at a critical moment, but both were killed in the ensuing mêlée. For their actions they cited jointly:
Lieutenant R. J. T. Digby Jones, Royal Engineers, and No. 459 Trooper H. Albrecht, Imperial Light Horse, Would have been recommended for the Victoria Cross had they survived, on account of their having during the attack on Waggon Hill (Ladysmith) of 6th January, 1900, displayed conspicuous bravery, and gallant conduct in leading the force which re-occupied the top of the hill at a critical moment just as the three foremost attacking Boers reached it, the leader being shot by Lieutenant Jones, and the two others by Trooper Albrecht.[a]
Digby-Jones is buried in Ladysmith Cemetery.
Memorials and the medal
- Digby-Jones's Victoria Cross is displayed at the Royal Engineers Museum (Chatham, England).
- A memorial to Digby-Jones stands in his old school, Sedbergh, commemorating his brave deeds.
- A brass plaque to Digby-Jones lies on the south aisle of St Mary's Episcopal Cathedral in Edinburgh. The plaque states that it was erected by his parents and brothers.
- A cairn was erected at Waggon Hill at the spot where he died
- A memorial plaque to his memory also stands in Alnmouth Parish Church
- Monuments to Courage (David Harvey, 1999)
- The Register of the Victoria Cross (This England, 1997)
- The Sapper VCs (Gerald Napier, 1998)
- Scotland's Forgotten Valour (Graham Ross, 1995)
- Victoria Crosses of the Anglo-Boer War (Ian Uys, 2000)
- On 8 August 1902 as a result of a revision in the policy in the war office which allowed posthumous awards of the Victoria Cross, Lieutenant Digby-Jones along with the other men who fallen during the recent operation in the performance of acts of valour which would in the opinion of the Commander in Chief had entitled them to a Victoria Cross were awarded them.
- Royal Engineers Museum Sappers VCs
- "No. 27462". The London Gazette. 8 August 1902. p. 5085.
- Photo of memorial in Ladysmith cemetery listing Robert James Thomas Digby-Jones, from Genealogical Society of South Africa online library.
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