Pontypool Rorke's Drift hero's descendants united
12:24pm Thursday 26th September 2013 in News
FAMILY: Poring over the memorabilia, from left, great-granddaughter Ruby Hawkins, great-great-great-granddaughter, Melanie Trinder, and granddaughter June Williams
RELATIVES of a war hero from the battle of Rorke’s Drift have been reunited after the clearance of his grave by Pontypool veterans.
Melanie Trinder, 39, knew she was the great-great granddaughter of Private John Samuel Jobbins who defended Rorke’s Drift in the Anglo-Zulu wars in 1879. After 12 years of research, she put book together.
She was delighted to hear four members of the Veterans Association Pontypool Branch had cleared the graveyard.
Mrs Trinder, from Trevethin, said: “He was always talked about in my family but no-one knew a great deal until, of course, the film Zulu was released. So I started to conduct my own research and finished the book in 2012.”
Entitled The Old Warrior of Pont-y-Pwl, it highlights how Newport- born Pte Jobbins, 20, enlisted in Pontypool in 1876, was posted to 2nd Battlalion 24th Regiment of Foot.
He gave his trade as ‘puddler’ (washing coal) and his home address as Malthouse Square, Pontypool.
The defenders of Rorke’s Drift received the Zulu War medal with three clasps, including Pte Jobbins. He died age 79-years-old in 1934 at his home in Pontypool and was buried with full military honours.
Mrs Trinder said, as the family is quite large, many have lost contact, but thanks to the interest sparked by the site clearance, she has been reunited with the granddaughter of Pte Jobbins, June Williams, 82.
She said: “We are thrilled to bits that the veterans have cleaned it. I think that my grandfather is deserving of being remembered, as all the men who served there.”
The veterans meet at the church on a Tuesday and Thursday, from 10.30am to 2pm, to clear the churchyard. Anyone with experience, wishing to help can pop along.
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