Born in Truro, Jeremiah “Jerry” Jones was a courageous soldier from the First World War. Like many other Black Canadians, he had to overcome racial barriers just to volunteer.
While the No. 2 Construction Battalion was the only predominantly Black unit in the Canadian Expeditionary Force, African Canadians did serve in other units, including infantry battalions. At the advanced age of 58, Jones joined the 106th Battalion in Truro, and fought with the Royal Canadian Regiment at Vimy Ridge and Passchendaele in 1917. At Vimy Ridge, he single-handedly stormed and captured a German machine gun post. For his bravery Jones was recommended for a Distinguished Conduct Medal, second only to the Victoria Cross for recognizing gallantry in action. It was never awarded.
In 2010, after decades of campaigning, the Canadian government posthumously awarded Jones a Canadian Forces Medallion for Distinguished Service. He is a heroic figure in African Nova Scotian history.
Canada’s participation in the First World War (1914-1918) and the Second World War (1939-1945) touched every community in this country. Parks Canada invites Canadians to join us in commemorating individuals from all walks of life who made unique contributions to the war effort. During these global conflicts, civilians and those in the armed forces played a crucial role in protecting and building their communities and thus Canada as a whole. Get to know the remarkable stories of these Hometown Heroes, honour their memory and express your gratitude for their service by visiting Parks Canada’s National Historic Sites, National Parks, and National Marine Conservation Areas. We Will Remember Them…