Road to be named after Pontypool war hero

FOLLOWING the hard work of Pontypool veterans to uncover the grave of a Rorke's Drift defender from under brambles, a road will be named after the Private.

The work was undertaken by The Veteran Association, Pontypool Branch, after its chairman, Michael Black, 74, came up with the idea to clear the graveyard at St Cadoc's Church.

The aim was to gain access to the grave of PVT John Samuel Jobbins who defended Rorke's Drift in the Anglo-Zulu wars in 1879 as the graveyard had become over grown by weeds and brambles.

Mr Black and branch members, Stephen Vaughan, 57, Nigel Rees, 64, and Steve Joy, 62, set about clearing the Trevethin cemetery, and have worked hard to arrange the first annual service to him on January 25.

The veterans then visited E I Peakes Funeral Directors in Pontnewynydd, and staff agreed to restore the grave and put a new memorial vase upon it free of charge.

Now, they have gone one step further and after consulting with Barratt, who are building the Penygarn Heights development on the former Trevethin School site, a street on the site will be named after him.

Mr Vaughan said: “We felt that PVT Jobbins deserved recognition and we are pleased that he will finally have a permanent site named after him and we can’t thank Barratt enough.

“We were thrilled when we received the call to say it will be called Jobbins Way, and we have been backed all the way by Paul Murphy MP and Lynne Neagle AM in making this happen.”

The managing director of Barratt South Wales, Steve Williams, said: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to honour such an outstanding solider from Pontypool.

“The local veterans have done a magnificent job in ensuring the name and heroism of Pte John Samuel Jobbins lives on and by naming a road on our new development we can help keep his name alive.”

Newport born PVT 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.

He received the South Africa Medal with clasp 1877-8-9 as well as two Good Conduct Badges.

He died age 79-years-old in 1934 at his home in Pontypool and was buried with full military honours.

The events of the battle were immortalised in the 1964 film Zulu, which shows 150 British soldiers defending the mission station against 4,000 Zulus.

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