Hal Jons (aka Harry Graham) was born in Ebbw Vale as Harry Austin Jones on 24 October, 1912. He worked both in the coal industry and in the steelworks in his hometown before he enlisted in the Army. He took part in the D–Day invasion in 1944 and returned to Germany as part of the British Army of Occupation. In 1946, in Berlin, he met Londoner, Alice Fortey, who was in Germany with the Control Commission. They were married in 1949. After spells in London and Ramsgate, Harry moved to Bristol to work at the Haven Master’s Office at Avonmouth Docks.
As Hal Jons, his first book, Montana Nemesis, was published in 1960 and was followed by seven more westerns during the 1960s, all in Frederick Muller’s ‘Sombrero’ series. Mysteriously, all reappeared in the early 1970s – riding on the crest of the popularity of the ‘Spaghetti Western’ – in World Distributors’ ‘Bandolero Western’ series without the author’s knowledge. Not one penny earned from this republication found its way to the author.
After he retired from the Port of Bristol Authority, Jones had seven further westerns published by Robert Hale. These were joined, under the ‘nom de guerre’ of Harry Graham, by Channel Incident, a gripping, all–action WW2 adventure novel (which was subsequently translated into several languages) and Pit Prop, an explosive novel, which takes in disaster, infidelity and incendiary emotions in a Welsh mining village. Although a work of fiction, much of Pit Prop was based around real people – suitably anonymised to protect the guilty – from Jones’ coal–mining youth.
Harry Jones died on 9 February, 1983, leaving several novels, numerous short stories and other work unpublished. In recent years Jones’ books have undergone something of a reappraisal and have been held up as all–action ‘genre exemplars’, where good always prevails over evil and the hero always gets his best gal. It seems fitting that 2012, the 100th anniversary of his birth, should have seen the start of the process of republishing all of Jones’ published work. He’d have been tickled pink.
Burnham Priory Publications has worked closely with the Hal Jons Estate throughout the publication process so that the surviving family members benefit directly from each and every sale.
Full list of published books By Hal Jons/Harry Graham
Full list of Hal Jons westerns, all available as part of the Burnham Priory ‘Tumbleweed Collection’:
- Montana Nemesis (1960)
- Cattleman’s Gold (1961)
- The Llano Kid (1962)
- Saddle Tramps (1963)
- Ghost Gunman (1964)
- Mochita Stage (1964)
- Rogue Ramrods (1965)
- Alamosa Guns (1965)
- Guns of Justice (1980)
- Gringo Gold (1981)
- Assassin Trail (1981)
- Mustang Valley (1982)
- Travis, US Marshal (1982)
- Cheyenne Medicine (1983)
- Guns at Chinooga Peak (1983)
Hal Jons also had two adventure novels published under the name of Harry
Graham, both of which are now available from Burnham Priory Publications: