Fonds GB 0210 GARNES - Gareth Vaughan Jones Papers

[A herd of camels either eating or drinking] [Five men and a horse] Letters from G.V.J. to his family while a student at UCW, Aberystwyth. Letters from G.V.J. to his family while a student at Trinity College, Cambridge. Letters from Cognac, Letters from Hamburg, Charlottenburg, Letters from Strasbourg, Hamburg, Wilna, Charente, Letters from Strasbourg, Heidelberg, Wurtemburg, Letters from Genève, Strasbourg, Letters from Oslo, Stockholm, Riga, Waldheim, Berlin, Olkusz, Gabrielahutten, Leipzig, Letters from Cologne, Leipzig, Cognac, Letters from Strasbourg, Letters from Warsaw, Kharkov, Letters from Danzig, New York, Washington DC, Connecticut, Letters from New York, Letters from Leipzig, Waldheim, Dresden, Danzig, Berlin, Moscow, Kharkoff, Paris, Letters from Strasbourg, Berlin, Paris, Wien, Letters from San Francisco, Changkiakow, Letters and fragments from G.V.J. while on foreign travels. Letters from G.V.J. to his family, mainly from London. Many of the letters discuss G.V.J.'s work ...
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Identity area

Reference code



Gareth Vaughan Jones Papers


  • 1890-2004 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

0.339 cubic metres. (20 boxes)
487 photographs, 63 postcards, 188 negatives and 11 lantern slides.

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

Gareth Vaughan Jones (1905-1935), journalist, was born in Barry, Glamorgan, on 13 August 1905, the son of Major Edgar and Gwen Jones. He was educated at Barry County School, the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, and Trinity College, Cambridge, gaining first class honours in Modern Languages. He then became private secretary and researcher to David Lloyd George, 1930-1931 and 1932-1933 and also spent a year in New York, 1931-1932, as a foreign advisor to Ivy Lee and Associates. In 1933 he joined the editorial staff of the Western Mail, and visited Russia, writing a series of articles exposing conditions in the Ukraine, notably the terrible famine there (the 'Holodomor'). He embarked on a 'round-the-world-tour' in 1934, but was murdered by 'bandits' in inner Mongolia on 12 August 1935. In Search of News: a selection of articles from the Western Mail (2nd edition, Cardiff, 1938) was published posthumously. Gareth Vaughan Jones's father, Dr Edgar William Jones (1868-1953), was the headmaster of Barry County School, 1899-1934. He subsequently became Adviser on Welsh Matters to the BBC, and made broadcasts on BBC radio. He was given the Freedom of the Borough of Barry in 1950.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Miss G. V. Vaughan Jones; Barry; Donation; June 1987.
Dr Prys T. J. Morgan; Swansea; Donation; April 1991.
Dylans Bookstore; Swansea; Purchase; February 1992.
Dr Margaret Siriol Colley; Nottingham; Donation; September 2007 and April 2010.
Mr Nigel Colley; Newark, Nottinghamshire; Donation; July 2011.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

The group donated in 1987 comprises letters from Gareth Vaughan Jones to his family, 1922-1935, many while on foreign travels; letters to him, 1919-1934; a curriculum vitae and references, 1925-1934; research notes, [c. 1930]-1932; typescripts, drafts and notes for articles and lectures, [1925]-[1935]; typescripts of press articles written by Gareth Vaughan Jones during his world tour, 1934-1935; newspaper cuttings of Western Mail articles by Gareth Vaughan Jones, [1933]-[1935]; papers concerning Gareth Vaughan Jones's death, [1935]; printed books, 1926-1927, and papers of his father Dr Edgar Jones, including letters, 1890-1952; letters concerning the death of Gareth Vaughan Jones, 1935; press cuttings and papers relating to his time as head of Barry County School, 1906-1935; typescripts of broadcasts and talks, 1939-1945; and papers relating to his death, 1953. The papers deposited in 2007, 2010 and 2011 comprise family papers, 1894-2007, including a few papers relating to Gareth Vaughan Jones's parents Major Edgar Jones and Mrs Annie Gwen Jones; papers of, or relating to, Gareth Vaughan Jones, 1916-2002, including diaries, notebooks, press cuttings of his articles, letters, mainly from him to his parents and other members of his family, and papers relating to his capture and subsequent murder in August 1935; and the papers of Dr Siriol Colley, 1922-2004, mainly deriving from her researches into her uncle's life, work and death, including transcripts and photocopies of relevant source materials. The material donated in July 2011 comprises six pocket diaries containing detailed observations and comments on Gareth Jones's travels, mainly in Germany and Russia, between 1931 and 1934, together with the last passport issued to him in 1930, and a few stray items which have been incorporated in the previous files. Another group includes photographs, postcards, negatives and lantern slides, [c. 1900 - c. 1990].

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

All records donated to the National Library of Wales have been retained.


Accruals are possible.

System of arrangement

Arranged into groups. The 1987-1992 group was arranged into the following: correspondence; research notes, lectures, articles etc.; press cuttings of articles; papers concerning GVJ's death; miscellanea; Dr Edgar Jones papers; Mrs Edgar Jones papers; Miss Gwyneth Vaughan Jones papers (1st group); typescript articles; miscellanea; printed books (2nd group). The 2007, 2010 and 2011 groups were arranged as follows: family papers; papers relating to Gareth Vaughan Jones; and research papers of Dr Siriol Colley. Another group includes photographs, postcards, negatives and lantern slides.

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Access to files 35-42 and series B1 requires special permission from the head of Unique Collection and Collection Care, the Head of Archives and Manuscripts or the Head of the Welsh Political Archive, users should consult facsimile copies of these documents where they have been published. Access to originals will only be granted under strict staff supervision.
Readers consulting modern papers in the National Library of Wales are required to sign the 'Modern papers - data protection' form.

Conditions governing reproduction

Usual copyright laws apply.

Language of material

  • English
  • Welsh

Script of material

Language and script notes

English, Welsh.

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

A hard copy of the first group is available in NLW, Minor Lists and Summaries, 1987, pp. 59-63, and 1992, pp. 68-69.

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Related descriptions

Publication note

Margaret Siriol Colley, A Manchukuo Incident (Newark, 2001)

Publication note

Margaret Siriol Colley, More than a Grain of Truth: The Biography of Gareth Richard Vaughan Jones (Newark, 2005)

Publication note

J. Graham Jones, 'Gareth Vaughan Jones', National Library of Wales Journal, XXVI (1990)

Publication note

J. Graham Jones, 'Gareth Vaughan Jones: A Further Note', National Library of Wales Journal, XXVII (1992).

Notes area


Title based on contents of fonds.


Correspondence with Gareth Jones and material relating to him can be found in a number of archival collections including:
Papers of Kenneth Ernest Frederick Millar (Reports written while Millar was a soldier in the Border Regiment in China, including, 'Kidnapping and murder of Gareth Jones, journalist, Inner Mongolia' (1935)) National Library of Australia
Anatolii Vasil'evich Baikalov Papers, 1918-1959 (BAR Ms Coll/Baĭkalov, Series II: Arranged Correspondence; Jones, Gareth, Box 4) Columbia University
Francis McCracken Fisher Papers 1933-1983 (bulk 1933-1945) (MSS-348. Dispatches 31 July – 9 August 135) Arizona State University;
George Reavey Papers. Manuscript Collection MS-3430 (Container 53.4) Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin
Walter Lippmann papers (MS 326, Series III. Part of Collection — Box: 80, Folder: 1169) Yale University
Ivy Ledbetter Lee Papers, 1881-2003 (mostly 1915-1946) (Box 2, Folder 27) Princeton University

Alternative identifier(s)

Virtua system control number


Project identifier


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Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru = The National Library of Wales

Rules and/or conventions used

Description follows ANW guidelines based on ISAD(G) 2nd ed.; AACR2; and LCSH


Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

May 2003, September 2010 and March 2012.


  • English



The following sources were used to compile this description: NLW, Minor Lists and Summaries, 1987, 1992; Dictionary of Welsh Biography down to 1940 (London, 1959); Jones, J. Graham, 'Gareth Vaughan Jones', National Library of Wales Journal, XXVI (1990). An impressive website of relevant materials is also available at

Archivist's note

Compiled by J. Graham Jones.

Accession area

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Physical storage

  • Text: Gareth Vaughan Jones Papers.