Walter Jones was another stalwart of Neath CC in the years either side of the Great War and followed his good friends Tal Whittington and Albert Freethy from the Neath club into the Glamorgan team.
Like Freethy, Walter was a schoolmaster in the Neath area, besides being a free-scoring batter and an accurate left-arm spinner. The pair helped Neath to a series of fine wins in the local league and in early August 1910 Walter made his Glamorgan debut in the closing two games of the season, against Hertfordshire at Swansea, followed by the match with Surrey 2nd XI on his home patch at The Gnoll.
The son of a chandler from Carmarthenshire, Walter re-appeared in six games during 1912, although the presence of Harry Creber in the side meant he only had limited opportunities with his left-arm spin. However, Walter more than made up for this the following summer as he struck his maiden hundred for Glamorgan, against Monmouthshire at Newport and shared a vibrant partnership with Welsh rugby international Reggie Gibbs as Glamorgan followed-on. Their stirring efforts though could not prevent a defeat by seven wickets.
The following week at Trowbridge, Walter was in the runs again as he top-scored with 76 against Wiltshire with his runs at number eight in the order giving his side a lead in excess of 200, and one from which they were able to force an innings victory. He added another fifty to his tally as he played for Glamorgan during his break from teaching over the Whitsun Holiday period in 1914, with the right-hander scoring an unbeaten fifty against Durham at Sunderland. Walter re-appeared in a couple of games during 1920 as the Welsh county assessed their talent ahead of their campaign in first-class cricket.
Despite boundless enthusiasm, the schoolmaster was past his best and after a duck against Wiltshire at Marlborough he turned down other invitations to paly and, in his typically magnanimous way, recommended to his friend Tal Whittington that other, much younger players, should be given a chance. A Neath man through and through, Walter continued to play for the town during the 1920s before proudly accepting the offer of serving as the town’s Mayor.
JONES, John Walter.
Born – Neath, March, 1886.
Died – Neath, 26 December, 1962.
Batting and Fielding Record
Minor County Championship – 108* v Monmouthshire at Rodney Parade, Newport, 1913 and 2/7 v Surrey 2nd XI at The Oval, 1912.