Sunday, 26 September 2021

Rugby player and official who steered Hawks to success

GRIFFITH RAE JONES, known to everyone as Rae, was born in Hirwaun, near Aberdare, South Wales,

GRIFFITH RAE JONES, known to everyone as Rae, was born in Hirwaun, near Aberdare, South Wales, on June 12, 1923.

His father was a dairy farmer and he was one of eight children.

When Rae was eight he and his family moved to Wargrave and ran the dairy there until his father’s death.

All six brothers went to war and Rae joined the Fleet Air Arm as a pilot in 1941, spending a lot of the time patrolling the North Sea.

At the end of the war he married his first wife Edith, settled in Twyford and had three children, Barry, Michael and Sandi. In the Eighties he married his second wife Rosemary and they had one son, David.



From the Thirties, Rae was playing rugby for the Old Henleiensians (Henley Grammar School) and from 1954 played for Henley Rugby Club, playing his last game when he was 70 years old alongside a son and a grandson.

As his rugby playing days began to wind down, Rae took up responsibilities at the club, initially as fixtures secretary, then as chairman and finally as president.

The highlight was the year he steered the team into National Division 1 in the 1998-99 season. When he retired from office, Rae was honoured to be made a life member of the club.

From early in the Eighties until his retirement in 1989 he was manager of Wilkins Removals in Henley, where his charm and easy going nature made him very  successful.

He was a member of the Royal British Legion and chairman of the Shiplake and Dunsden branch for several years.

He was a very popular and well-liked member of the local community and will be sorely missed by all who knew him.



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