Lance Corporal Andrew Jones
9th Force Support Battalion
On 30 May 2011 at approximately 0819, LCPL Jones was deliberately shot by a rogue ANA soldier, while inside the confines and perceived security of COP MASHAL. Following the shooting, LCPL Jones’ Australian colleagues provided immediate first aid to him while simultaneously calling for aero medical evacuation (AME) support.
Through the efforts of LCPL Jones’ colleagues, LCPL Jones was sustained long enough to be successfully handed over to the AME medical team and flown to the Multi National Base where surgeons operated on LCPL Jones’ significant injuries.
Despite the best efforts of the medical team, LCPL succumbed to his injuries and died. At 1239 on 30 May 2011, LCPL Jones tragically lost his life from wounds received while serving his country.
He was returned home to Australia and laid to rest on 11 Jun 2011.
Andrew is remembered as a cook who never thought that it was too much trouble to fire up the BBQ and get some going for when his fellow soldiers came in from task. It did not matter how busy he had been, he was always happy to use his skills to provide the much-needed morale boost for his mates.
The mess at Mashal Afghanistan, in honour of Andrew Jones
Andrew was a quiet achiever, but a young man who worked hard, who was loyal, dependable, quick-witted, loved the Army and had many friends, and adored his family.
“Young people like Andrew were all part of a family, they all had family and friends. They had interests outside of the military. Just like other people, they were book readers, footballers, athletes, fishermen … just like ordinary people outside the military. They weren’ t just soldiers.
That’s what you don’t get on Anzac Day or Remembrance Day It’s always about service or their schooling. It doesn’t show them as human beings.
The saddest thing is that they were all young people, just starting out their adult lives; it was all cut off too soon.”
– David, Andrew’s father
Andrew, Arran and David, Warrnambool, 5 November 2000
Andrew was born on 22nd April 1986 at 10:04 pm, the first child of David and Jennifer. He was the caring big brother to Arran and Anthea.
Andrew attended Maryborough Kindergarten, then Kingsbury Primary School and completed VCE at Latrobe Secondary College.
At school he was a quiet, non-confrontational student who usually kept his head down but still with a cheeky streak. When this cheeky streak got him into trouble, he always had his cousin to help him out.
Andrew, Arran and Diggers, Shrine of Remembrance, September 1998
Whilst growing up Andrew enjoyed many good times with family – Christmas cricket matches, swimming, camping with uncles and cousins at a favourite camping spot in Victoria’s High country, fishing trips with his father and brother; even though the fishing was not always successful the company was always good.
On one occasion Andrew caught a large European carp. He ran up to the family’s car, where his mother was reading, and put the fish up to the window, right near her face -Jennifer was “not happy Jan”. Needless to say, younger brother Arran and baby sister Anthea thought the whole incident was hysterical!
“He wasn’t just my brother, but he was my best friend.
He was someone I really looked up to as my hero and such an inspiration.
He was really the best person I or anyone else could have known.”
– Andrew’s brother Aaran
Andrew, Arran and Anthea, Crystal Creek Queensland, 7 July 2005
“Everyone always said Andrew was the gayest straight guy they knew. He was always criticising my wardrobe. He would always complain that I needed a little black dress. Finally, he got his way, and complimented me on my choice. Your opinion will be sorely missed. Rest in peace big brother”.
– Andrew’s sister Anthea
Getting a new scarf at Scouts, July 1995
Andrew was also an active member of the scouting family from Joeys to Venturers and particularly enjoyed raft races on the Yarra, organised by the Scouts.
Andrew going up to Venturers, 2001
Andrew, Tim and Shannon, Founder Day Race, February 2000
“Growing up I always felt as though I was one of this family. I may not have known Andrew very well as a soldier, but I can definitely say he has had a huge impact on my childhood and in turn my adult life. Memories of Wallace and Gromit in the shed, barbecues on Sunday and playing with GI Joe, learning from each other, causing trouble, even peeling potatoes together at the sink before a quick tomato sandwich; all have had added to who I am now … he will be greatly missed for his actions, attitude, wit and personality.”
– Andrew’s friend, Tim Howells
From a young age, Andrew was an avid reader. As he grew, his interests expanded – he enjoyed model making, drawing, riding his bike. He also participated in the card game called “Magic”, which his friends still play today.
Arran, Trent and Andrew, Andrew’s party 4 April 2004
When Andrew came home, he would spend loads of time playing “Miniatures”, particularly with his cousin Trent. When he was stationed out, this contact wouldn’t cease; they would play computer games and communicate on a regular basis.
Once, on a trip to Werribee Mansion with his grandparents, Andrew and his older cousin decided to play underneath the sprinkler. As they were both small, they could play without getting wet. Unfortunately, Pa Jones got wet getting them out, and so did they.
March Out Parade, Nan and Pop Jones and Nan Duncan with Andrew, 22 May 2004
“An eye for an eye makes the world blind”.
– Andrew’s grandfather, Pa Jones
Andrew joining the Army, with Mum and Dad, April 2004
“Andrew, we are so proud of you, loving son, wonderful brother. I will miss your hugs, long talks about our favourite books. I’ll even miss those wake-up calls I used to make … Miss you.”
– Jennifer, Andrew’s mother
“There is so much I want to say, so much to remember … but I can’t find the words. I watched you grow up from a baby to a fine young man.
You made many friends and touched us all.
Know you are safe in our hearts.
Love you always.”
– David, Andrew’s father
Andrew enjoyed music and had eclectic tastes. He liked everything from ‘Sweet’ to ‘AC/DC’, Enya, and much more, incorporating music from the 70s and 80s.
Latrobe Secondary College Concert, November 1998
He and his brother Arran would love to blast the music from the CD player and there was no escaping the music, even when their dad was in the shower!!
Andrew liked playing ‘Guitar Hero’ with his friends and cousins – playing the guitar and drums and always singing off key.
When he was younger, Andrew decided to be “MasterChef”, though he also put some chips on to cook then got carried away playing “Guitar Hero” and almost burnt the house down!
Andrew had a very dry sense of humour like his dad, a sense of humour you understood, or you didn’t. He was able to laugh at himself.
It was not unusual for Andrew to turn up at family functions with bright blue or ‘cat eyes’ contact lenses and see how long it took you to work out what was different.
During the always animated Duncan-Jones discussions Andrew would listen quietly to the conversation, then butt in to add his little snippy remarks. If he didn’t agree with your point of view, his comeback line was always “Yes my friend”.
Andrew joining the Army, April 2004
Andrew always enjoyed cooking and wanted to make this hobby his career. Shortly after finishing high school, he joined the Army to train as a cook.
“As Principal of the school at the time I can recall Andrew as being a quiet boy at Latrobe Secondary College who established strong friendships with other students … He developed a particular interest in cooking through Home Economics, possibly due to the inspired teaching provided by Judy Dunn. I can remember him telling me during his final year that he was considering enlisting in the Army.”
– Andrew’s Principal, John McIntyre (Latrobe Secondary College)
His parents are very proud of the man they raised – a wonderful son and brother.
Anthea, David, Andrew and Jennifer, Andrew’s party, 4 April 2004
Andrew was a quiet achiever, strong but not an “in your face” personality. Through his experiences in the Army, he developed a quiet confidence and a sense of purpose.
He had a tight and loyal group of friends and was loyal friend himself. He made a very good and lasting friendships both in Townsville and then again in Amberley.
Townsville: David, Pauly, Kyle and Andrew
Despite the new life he was creating in Townsville, he never forgot his family. Calls to mum and dad’s home was a regular occurrence.
March Out Parade: Arran, Andrew and Anthea, 22 May 2004
Andrew was warned by his uncle Bill that joining the military would have its challenges; he may wake up in the middle of the night and think “what the hell am I doing here?”
And sure enough, this was the case for Andrew.
But true to his strength of character, he put his head down and completed his training, despite its difficulties and the cold water he had to wade through.
His first tour was to East Timor in 2008, where he went as a postie even though he was a trained cook. It may be said he followed in his dad’s footsteps, as his dad was a postie, but in the Army, Andrew was a postie with a gun.
Assault Bayonet Training Course, 2004
Assault Bayonet Training Course, 2004
“One of the first things that struck me about Andrew was how well-spoken and genuine he was as a person. He was always generous of his time, his experiences and his love to those around him.
He would never take a bad day out on me (although he may have vented elsewhere) and he always went out of his way to be involved in his friends lives at every possible opportunity. He gave best friend cuddles, I’m sorry cuddles and boyfriend cuddles.
He was a very kind and affectionate boyfriend with a witty sense of humour.
He was my best friend and my boyfriend and will always be remembered with love”.
– Andrew’s girlfriend, Jo
Jo and Andrew, 2008
“In my time with Andrew in the Middle East and at home in Amberley, … I found Andrew to be polite and engaging.
It was my privilege to have promoted Andrew last year to the rank of Lance Corporal. It was a well-deserved promotion and now forms are cherished memory for me. At the time I explain to him the challenges of leadership within the army and the burden of responsibility that came with his new rank.
We talked about the requirement to always look out for your diggers and put their needs first. These traits came naturally for Andrew anyway.
“KINSGBURY SOLDIER COOKING UP A STORM FOR AUSSIE SOLDIERS IN AFGHANISTAN”, 2010
Whilst on deployment in Afghanistan, the Army newspaper wanted a photo of the cooks deployed there. Andrew’s immediate superior played “Rock, Paper, Rank” to ensure that Andrew volunteered for the photoshoot. Sometime later, Andrew was surprised to be told by his aunt that there was a photo of him and an accompanying article in the Army magazine back in Australia.
In fact, he was rather horrified because, in keeping with Army tradition, he would now have to buy ‘a slab’ to the first person who saw the photo.
… [Andrew] always went the extra yard to look after the diggers. He would often fire up the barbecue for soldiers returning late from duty, even if he had already cleaned up. He spent long periods of time with his unit on the road back in Australia, looking after his mates. He then deployed to Afghanistan where he looked after a new set of mates under very different circumstances.
Andrew was a soldier first and a cook second. He was keen from the outset to serve where he was needed most, which was out at the patrol base to cook for ‘the boys’.
Andrew had undertaken additional weapons and combat first aid training prior to his deployment
to ensure he could contribute to the mission in his great capacity as possible. He had also undergone intensive live fire training prior to his deployment. These additional skills made him very highly trained and prepared soldier …
I am convinced Andrew understood the risks associated with his job. He volunteered to be deployed forward where he was most needed which was at Combat Out Post Mashal …
Afghanistan, March 2011
The landscape is dry and dusty until it gives way to lush for vegetation running along the river at the foot of the mountains. The soldiers refer to this part of the terrain as the ‘Green Zone’.
Living at that place for Andrew must’ve been like living on another planet. The soldiers there are a small and very tight knit group. They are a tough and resilient group of young Australian soldiers living amongst the Afghans in a tough environment.
Afghanistan, March 2011
Andrew’s friend and colleague Krissy (middle, front row) remembers Andrew’s gentlemanly behaviour when he would accompany ‘the girls’ back to Barracks, after late nights out.
Lance Corporal Andrew Jones will be sorely missed by his mates in the Force Support Team Tarim Kot, Force Support Unit IV and the 9th Force Support Battalion.
I assure you that I will that for the rest of my life I will never forget Andrew’s sacrifice”.
Force Support Unit IV
Officer Commanding Force Support Unit Tarin Kowt Major Rogers (right) and good friend Private Kalogjera (left) salute as a C-130 Hercules prepares to take off, starting Lance Corporal Andrew Jones’ journey home.
“As the OMLT Team Leader at Combat Outpost Mashal, Jonesy was one of my soldiers. Jonesy fit in to our team from the first day he joined us and bonded quickly with us. Mashal is a tiny base, only 100 m x 100 m, so you get to know each other intimately here. I asked a lot of my soldiers out here, and it’s a tough area to work so I expect them to work hard. Jonesy did and more some.
I remember not long after he had arrived, we got back from a 10-hour patrol, and the first thing he said to me as we came in the gate was “I’ve put some pies on for the boys “. Even though Jonesy was only required to cook us one meal a day he always went out of his way to do more, and was constantly volunteering for other duties around the patrol base… The feeling it our patrol base now is sombre, as we have lost a brother. But we remain committed to honour Jonesy’s memory … Jonesy – we all miss you more than we can express in words. Love always, your brothers at Mashal. Lest we forget”.
– Nick Perriman
Captain, Officer Commanding Support Company, 5th Battalion
“He was a nerd. He was a bookworm, a sci-fi geek. He was and is my mate, my brother. He is the digger that made a job that got to me so badl, seem so bright. He saved me and for that I’ll never forget.”
– Ben Collinson De-Waal
“Jonesy was my professional knife sharpener! Every time I was working with him, I would hand them over and his arms would move so fast! After a couple of minutes, he would hand back my whole knife set, and they would all be razor sharp! It amazes me every time. LOL. I’d tell him how good he was at it and he just gave a little smile.”
– Nicki Sweet
“I remember you bro, baking your own cake because us boys would f*** it. You kicked us out of my kitchen then proceeded to write your name on your own cake, so it was done right. I miss you mate. Happy birthday.”
– Kyle B.
“He’d always make sure the boys were always fed and looked after, even when he only had to cook one meal a day. He was the nicest bloke I’d ever had the pleasure to be around.”
– Brady Morrissey
At the going down of the sun And in the morning
We will remember them.