Remembering Dr Ieuan Jones: Founding Member of Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Organisation

The Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Organisation (OVMRO) has announced the passing of one of their founding members, Dr Ieuan Jones. Active on the team from 1966 to 1984, he made significant contributions to the formal teaching of casualty care in the mountains. His impact on the team and the field of mountain rescue was significant and his loss is felt deeply by his colleagues.

Dr Tony Jones MBE, a former chairman of OVMRO, had fittingly written about Dr Jones in an article for MR Magazine in 2010. In it, he spoke about Dr Jones’ impressive background, his love for mountaineering, and his contributions to the team. Dr Jones was born in 1935 in South Wales and began climbing on the Gower. He later trained at Guy’s Hospital, where he specialised in trauma and orthopaedics. He then served as the Senior Accident Officer at the C & A Hospital in Bangor.

Image Source: Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Organisation

Dr Jones’ interest in mountain rescue began with his love of mountaineering, including trips to the Alps and Himalayas. He was approached with requests for training in first aid appropriate for mountain casualties, and he responded by developing a series of lectures with associated practical work, illustrated with colour slides of actual injuries. His course was certificated by the St John Ambulance Brigade in Wales and was one of the first courses specifically designed to provide quality treatment for mountain casualties. Instructor and advanced level courses followed.

As the course became increasingly in demand, Dr Jones produced a series of taped lectures to be used by his instructors. The course was eventually developed into a series of PowerPoint presentations. By the late 1970s, the course was well established as a standard for first aid in the mountains. Between 1978 and 1983, some 2359 candidates attended the Basic Course with a pass rate of 69%.

Dr Jones’ approach was to provide a systematic and robust examination of a casualty in the mountain environment. The use of colour slides not only illustrated the range of injuries but also laid the foundation for what could be encountered on the hills. Courses were delivered widely in the United Kingdom, Eire, and the Channel Islands, as well as to the Mountain Rescue Team of the Civil Aid Service, Hong Kong.

Dr Ieuan Jones’ contributions to the field of mountain rescue will never be forgotten. His funeral was held at Bangor Crematorium on Tuesday, May 9th, followed by the wake at Bangor Rugby Club. The OVMRO honours his legacy and remembers him fondly as a dedicated and passionate member of the team.

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