Photo Credit: Arthur's Family
The #Find Arthur campaign has gone global to locate missing British pensioner, Robert "Arthur" Jones, a 73 year old from Denbigh in North Wales. Arthur went missing in the Chania area of Crete on June 19, 2014. The "Missing People" charity (missingpeople.org.uk) has turned the search into a worldwide one initiated by Lee Hadwin of the charity with a Leah Roberts from Denbigh. Personalities including the American comedian, Alan Carr and actress Morgan Fairchild back the campaign. American actor, @ripper_street star #AdamRothenberg is the latest to join in the worldwide search.
Arthur, a keen hiker who liked to take walking vacations previously, this time chose a week's holiday on the island of Crete armed with his hiking gear. He arrived at Chania Airport on June 17, 2014. On June 18 his first full day he visited the Souda War Memorial and Cemetery. Arthur had been a Merchant Navy man and was well disciplined. Nonetheless, it seems that Arthur had not been seen from June 19 onwards and did not board the flight for the return to UK on June 24 - a typical week's holiday routine from UK to Crete. That is when alarm bells started to ring. Arthur was then reported as 'missing' to the Greek police.
Arthur's son Jeff flew to Crete within a few days and launched a 1000 leaflet distribution campaign with family and friends. And, since the campaign has blossomed into a spirited online effort drawing publicity and support from national British media outlets and social networks including Facebook and Twitter and now the "Missing People" organization.
ITV's Good Morning Britain and BBC Wales and BBC News have both given impressive support as have various other news services and support groups. Even at Parliamentary Question Time in London, Chris Ruane, the North Wales MP for the Vale of Clwyd raised the matter with the Prime Minister, David Cameron who replied he would lend his full support to the #FindArthur campaign.
Key to the police enquiries is Arthur's visit to the Souda War Memorial and Cemetery in Chania. Arthur visited that location on Wednesday, June 18, 2014 and signed the visitor book. The local Greek Police assisted by the North Wales Constabulary continue to ask of anyone to contact them, especially any British holiday makers or ex-pat residents who visited the Souda War Cemetery on the day of June 18, 2014.
Photo Credit: North Wales Police.
CreditSuperintendent Steve Williams of North Wales Police said in a July 7 Appeal: “We know that Arthur has attended there on June 18th, probably around the early morning time. The visitor’s book shows that there were a number of British people there on the same day.”
“Is your name on this visitors list or do you know anyone who has signed their name in the book?
“Our hope is that someone remembers seeing or even speaking to him.”
When in Crete, Jeff made a tearful appeal for his father's safe return. In a press conference he even suggested that his father suffered foul play but did not elaborate. Jeff also reported that his family received a postcard back home on which Arthur wrote he was planning a walking trip. The family members while visiting Crete in late June said that they found Arthur's walking gear still in his room.
Arthur Jones is described as 5'6" tall, medium build with short grey hair and a grey moustache. Family have referred to him as "Arthur Bloody Bootsie".
Photo Credit: Arthur's Family.
If you are in the UK, North Wales Police can be contacted through a call to your local police force using telephone number 03003300101 quoting the North Wales Police case reference number R103354.
If you are outside Britain with any lead or information no matter how small the detail you can contact your own police referencing the North Wales Police case number and stating Arthur Jones Missing Person of British Nationality.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has a dedicated office for UK nationals missing abroad. Its telephone number is +44 2070 475060. If you are in Crete, the British Consulate in Heraklion is a good place to contact, telephone +30 2810 224012.
We at BritsinCrete will continue to do our bit to publicize the case of the missing Briton, Arthur Jones.
Several of the story sources:
- BBC North Wales and BBC News
- North Wales Police
- ITV News
- Find-Arthur on Facebook Page
- Twitter - #FindArthur
Footnote: As an ex-pat Brit used to Greek ways, I am glad to read that Arthur's son in the Facebook 'Find-Arthur' page on July 19, 2014 (link above) has set the record straight on the way the Greek police were handling this case. Brits who come to Greece to seek help must understand it is not in their best interest to find fault publicly with the Greek approach when it does not match the "British Way" of doing things. A point clearly covered in the statement.
UPDATED August 6: On the evening of August 3, 2014, Arthur was found sitting in a remote location in an area called Agios Pavlos. Details of the news to be found in our forum.