World War II veteran who survived Auschwitz is still selling poppies at 100-years-old
The sacrifice that men gave in World War II is too great to even imagine, from the brutality of armed conflict to the suffering of friends and civilians they must have witnessed along the way. Yet for men like Ron Jones, serving their country amidst a global war just isn't enough. At the age of 100 years old, he is still doing his part to raise money for charity, showing that even in retirement he hasn't given up helping others.
Ron is a former soldier, who not only served in World War II, but survived being confined in the Auschwitz concentration camp too. He turned 100 back in April this year, and is still selling poppies for The Royal British Legion to this day. Ron has been collecting for the Poppy Appeal for a long time now, as he started getting involved with the scheme all the way back in 1981.
This veteran volunteers up to six hours a day at his local supermarket in South Wales, helping out the charity where he can. "I've been selling poppies for about 30 years," he told the Press Association, "every year for a fortnight, practically every day". He goes on to describe his reasons for helping out The Royal British Legion even in his old age:
"I like to do a lot for the British Legion as we help dependants, we help the boys coming back from Afghanistan.
"If they need help, I'm there. I've made as much as £15,000 ($19,753) occasionally, but normally we get up to nine or ten thousand."
Ron was called up to serve in 1940, serving as a lance corporal in 1st Battalion Welch Regiment in the Middle East. After two years of service, things took a dark turn for the soldier. He was captured in 1942 by enemy forces, while he was in Benghazi, Libya. At this point he was transferred to Auschwitz, where he worked alongside slave labourers under the Nazi regime.
He spent a harrowing two-and-a-half years there before he managed to escape the atrocious concentration camp. He was freed by American troops near the end of the war, finally returning home to his wife Gladys in May 1945. By this point, he only weighed seven stone.
Lynne Woodyatt, a community fundraiser for The Royal British Legion, paid tribute to his service:
"He's one of our key volunteers and an ambassador for the appeal. He does supermarket collections for us, he's quite a celebrity. The young generation love to interact with him and he loves to get them involved.
"He's so generous and the Legion is quite close to his heart."
Ron is set to feature in an upcoming film titled The Poppy Seller. The film will be released on November 11. In a style which befits his contribution to the charitable cause, the veteran has promised to donated his fee for the appearance straight to the charity.