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James Jones

engineer , civil engineer

James William Jones was a South Australian surveyor.


He was the son of civil engineer Thomas Jones, founder of the Manchester Unity of Oddfellows in South Australia. He was soon working for his father on the Port Elliot to Goolwa tramway, for which his father received official criticism.


He studied at J. L. Young's Adelaide Educational Institution.


He joined the State public service as a draughtsman in 1865 and was appointed Chief Surveyor then Deputy Surveyor-General in the Department of Survey and Crown Lands. He explored the area north-east of Eucla in 1880, and discovered the Kudna rockhole and catacombs, an immense network of limestone caves, lakes and underground passages under the Nullarbor Plain. He was appointed Conservator of Water in 1887 and Secretary to the Commissioner of Works in 1902.

He was secretary of the South Australia branch of the Royal Geographical Society of Australasia from its foundation in 1885 to 1894. He was elected president of the Institute of Surveyors in 1912. He was chairman and president of the Harbors and Marine Board in 1914.

He was secretary of the Cheer-Up Society during the First World War. He was appointed Companion of the Imperial Service Order in 1911.


Peter Jones

Catherine (Chappell) Jones

Sarah Munford