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Gareth Vaughan Jones (1905–35) was a journalist, traveller and linguist who met his death in suspicious circumstances at the hands of Chinese ‘bandits’ in Inner Mongolia in August 1935. He was at one time Foreign Affairs Advisor to David Lloyd George and later went on to report on the Great Depression in America and the rise of Nazism in Germany. In recent years he has become famous for being the first to break the news of the famines that were taking place across the Soviet Union in 1933 and in particular for his witnessing of the Holodomor in Ukraine.

Gareth Vaughan Jones Archive

The archive was donated to the National Library of Wales by members of Gareth Jones’s family; Miss G. V. Vaughan Jones; Dr Margaret Siriol Colley; and Mr Nigel Colley; with material also donated by Dr Prys. Morgan and purchased from Dylans Bookstore, Swansea. The Library acknowledges the generosity of the family and their continued support in making Gareth’s archive available to the public.

The collection includes the famous ‘Hitler diary’ kept by Jones during his visit to Germany in the spring of 1933 and describes conditions and various events in Nazi Germany shortly after the Fuehrer had come to power there and presents uncannily perceptive pen-portraits of Hitler himself and Goebbels. In February 1933, Gareth became the first foreign journalist to fly with Adolf Hitler after his appointment as Chancellor just one month earlier to a rally at Frankfurt-am-Main.

A further group of six pocket diaries describe in some detail Jones’s visits to the Soviet Union between 1931 and 1933, especially his travels, the people whom he meets and graphic accounts of the severe famine conditions which he encountered. The great Soviet famine accounted for millions of deaths particularly in Kazakhstan and Ukraine, and Gareth Jones was almost alone in reporting on this in British newspapers and journals at the time. Gareth Jones’s diaries, perhaps represent the only independent verification of arguably Stalin’s greatest atrocity.

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Digitised Archives

Thanks to generous financial support from the Ukrainian National Women's League of America, the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Foundation and the Temerty Family Foundation, a selection of files from Gareth Vaughan Jones’s archive has been digitised and is freely available to view. Links to the digitised files are included in the catalogue and grouped by theme below.


  • File 1 - Letters from Jones. to his family while a student at University College of Wales, Aberystwyth.   
  • File 2 - Letters from Jones. to his family while a student at Trinity College, Cambridge.  
  • File 3 Letters from Cognac (1922)
  • File 4 - Letters from Hamburg and Charlottenburg (1923)
  • File 5 - Letters from Strasbourg, Hamburg, Wilna and Charente (1924)  
  • File 6 - Letters from Strasbourg, Heidelberg and Wurtemburg,(1925)
  • File 7 - Letters from Geneva and Strasbourg (1926)
  • File 8 - Letters from Oslo, Stockholm, Riga, Waldheim, Berlin, Olkusz, Gabrielahutten and Leipzig (1927)
  • File 9 - Letters from Cologne, Leipzig and Cognac (1928)
  • File 10 - Letters from Strasbourg (1929)
  • File 11 - Letters from Warsaw and Kharkov (1930)  
  • File 12 - Letters from Danzig, New York, Washington DC and Connecticut (1931)
  • File 13 - Letters from New York (1932)
  • File 14 - Letters from Leipzig, Waldheim, Dresden, Danzig, Berlin, Moscow, Kharkoff and Paris (1933)
  • File 15 - Letters from Strasbourg, Berlin, Paris and Vienna (1934) 
  • File 16 -  Letters from San Francisco and Changkiakow (1935) 
  • File 17 - Letters and fragments from Gareth Vaughan Jones while on foreign travels
  • File 18 - Letters from Gareth Vaughan Jones to his family, mainly from London. Many of the letters discuss his work for David Lloyd George
  • File 22 - File of research notes and typescripts assembled by Gareth Vaughan Jones while in the employ of David Lloyd George (ca. 1930-32)
  • File 23 - Typescripts of and notes for lectures delivered by Gareth Vaughan Jones
  • File 24 - Typescripts and drafts of articles prepared by Gareth Vaughan Jones
  • File 61 - A lecture 'A Glimpse of Troubled Europe' given by Gareth Vaughan Jones to the Institute of World Affairs, Riverside (1934)
  • File B6/2 - Letters from Cambridge University, London, and Europe (1920-30) - Includes some letters from 25 Old Queen Street, Westminster when Jones was in the employ of David Lloyd George and others written from European and Russian cities including Berlin, Moscow and Warsaw where he describes his surroundings and events. There are many references to European and international affairs.
  • File B6/3 - Letters from New York (1931) - Most of the letters were written from New York when Jones was in the employ of Ivy Lee and Associates, a public relations counselling office. Jones describes in detail his travels, experiences and the people he met, including Herbert Hoover, then the President of the United States.
  • File B6/4  - Letters from New York (1932) - Mostly letters written from New York while Jones was in the employ of Ivy Lee and Associates.
  • File B6/5 - Letters from the USA, Japan, Hong Kong, China etc. (1933-5) - Including planning for his ‘Round the World Tour’, letters send while travelling and typescript copies of some of the last letters which he sent to his family during June and July 1935 just before his capture by the 'bandits'.


  • File B5/1 – Gareth Vaughan Jones’s Passport (1921-30) 
  • File B5/2 - Passport of Major Edgar William and Annie Gwen Jones, parents of Gareth Jones (1931-41) 
  • File B5/3 - Gareth Vaughan Jones's Passport (1930-34) featuring the visa for his visit to the Ukraine in 1933

Soviet Union 1931

Gareth made a visit to the USSR in 1931 and kept detailed diaries of his observations.

  • File 35 – Pocket notebook containing rough notes by Jones of his visit to the USSR with Jack Heinz in 1931
  • File B1/11 - Journal of a Tour in Russia (Aug 7 – 15 1931) - Contains fairly detailed notes on Jones's journey to USSR, his lengthy conversations with the crew, mainly on Communism and capitalism, life in Russia and conversations with Russian people, mainly at Leningrad and Moscow, on religion, the economy, social life etc. 
  • File B1/12 - Journal of Russian travels (21 Aug – 4 Sept 1931) –  Contains detailed notes of Jones's travels and experiences in Russia. Includes notes on a long conversation with Nadezhda Konstantinovna Krupskaia, namely Lenin's widow, and other individuals in which they discuss the Soviet economy and society. He also notes conversations with peasants in various villages which include references to industry, agriculture and the political regime in USSR.

Soviet Union 1933

  • In 1933 Jones set off to find out the truth around the famine in the USSR, travelling to Ukraine
  • File B1/15 - Diary of tour of Russia (4-10 March 1933)    
  • File B1/16 - Russian diary (11-19 March 1933)
  • File B1/13 - Russian diary (20-24 March 1933)   

Round the World Tour Diaries

In 1934 and 1935 Jones undertook a ‘Round the World’ tour which he recorded in great detail in his diaries.

  • File 37 - Round the World vol. 1 - United States of America (October 1934)   
  • File B3/16 - Round the World vol. 2: United States (November-December 1934) 
  • File 38 - Round the World vol. 3 - United States of America (1934) 
  • File 40 - Round the World vol. 4 - United States of America (January 1935)
  • File B2/1 - Round the World vol. 5 - Tour of Japan (February 1935)
  • File B2/2 - Round the World vol. 6 - Tour of Japan (March 1935)
  • File B2/3 - Round the World vol. 7 - Tour of the Philippines  (March-April 1935)
  • File B2/4 - Round the World vol. 8 - Tour of the Dutch East Indies and Singapore (April 1935)
  • File B2/5 - Round the World vol. 9 - Tour of Siam and Cambodia (April–May 1935)
  • File B2/6 - Round the World vol. 10 - Tour of French Indo China (May 1935)
  • File B2/7 - Round the World vol. 11 - Tour of China, Hong Kong and Canton (May 1935)
  • B8/2 - Round the World vol. 12 -  Travel notebook, 1935 (June-July 1935)

Travel Diaries

Diaries kept by Jones during his various trips detailing conversations and events which would later form the basis of articles

  • File B1/1 - Tour of Germany (July-September 1923) 
  • File B1/6 - Diary - Europe and Russia (1931)   
  • File B3/9 - Italy and France (ca. 1931-32)   
  • File B3/12 - Impressions of Germany (1932)   
  • File 36 - Pocketbook with notes from a visit to Germany (1933) - Notes on the Nazi regime during January 1933.
  • File B1/9 - 'Hitler Diary' (1933) - Diary describing Jones's visit to Germany in February 1933 and his meeting with Hitler and Goebbels. The notebook gives Jones's view of contemporary events in Germany in some detail and gives Jones's reactions to the impact and nature of the Nazi regime in the country.
  • File B1/14 - Journal of a tour of Germany (1933) - Describes in some detail a visit to Germany, mainly Berlin, and discusses the impact of Hitler there, his plans for the future and the likely consequences. There are notes on relations between the Nazi regime and foreign powers and conditions in Bonn.
  • File 39 - Pocketbook with notes from a visit to Germany (ca. 1933)
  • File 41 - Pocketbook containing notes from Trieste (1934) 
  • File B3/13 – Ireland (October 1933) 
  • File B3/14 - Russian notes (1932-33)   
  • File B3/17 - Travels in Germany (1933-34)  
  • File B3/15 - Tour of Central Europe (1934)   
  • File 42 - Diary of a trip to Germany (1934) - Diary of a visit to Germany starting on 1 October 1934 with the final dated entry on 15 October 1934. Discusses the political and economic system in Germany and notes meetings with Lady Rhondda on the train.

Student and Appointment diaries

These notebooks contain various notes made by Jones including while he was a student at the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth and Trinity College, Cambridge. Some are linguistic notes although later there are many observations on international developments in Europe, America and the USSR. Some were kept while Jones was in the employ of David Lloyd George, based at Churt, and acting as a researcher for the compilation of Lloyd George's War Memoirs.

  • File B1/2 - Diary kept at Trinity College, Cambridge (1928-29) 
  • File B1/3 - Diary of service with Lloyd George (1929-30) 
  • File B1/4 - Appointment and Engagement Diary (1930) 
  • File B1/5 - Appointment and Engagement Diary (1931)   
  • File B1/7 - Appointment and Engagement Diary (1931)
  • File B1/8 - Appointment and Engagement Diary (1932)   
  • File B1/10 - Appointment Diary (1934)  
  • File B3/1 - Student notes (1923-26)
  • File B3/2 - French notes (1923-26) 
  • File B3/3 - French notes (1924-26) 
  • File B3/4 - Political notes (1928)   
  • File B3/5 - Notes on Welsh mediaeval history, Russia, Lloyd George, and events in Europe (ca. 1930)   
  • File B3/6 - 'Churt, 1931' (1930-31) – Notebook containing notes on political subjects including unemployment, foreign affairs and the 1931 National Government, prepared while Jones was in the employ of David Lloyd George as a researcher.
  • File B3/7 - Notes on international affairs and developments (1931) 
  • File B3/8 - The United States and the British Economy (ca. 1931-32)   
  • File B3/10 - Political notes (April-May 1932)
  • File B3/11 - Political comments (1932) 


Photographs believed to have been taken by Jones in summer 1935. Most are of Mongolia, many being of The Great Mongolian Festival of the Princes at the Court of Prince Teh Wang. These show many of the tribesmen and their lifestyles. Included are a number of Prince Teh Wang (aka Prince Demchugdongrub), Mongolian military leader and his family; also Chinese General Tsai Ting Kai (aka Cai Tingkai). Some are annotated on the reverse. Included are pictures of monks, sacrificing of sheep, inside and outside yurts, wrestling etc.

The digitised items are in copyright and permission to re-use them in any way which is not permitted by copyright legislation should be obtained from the Estate of Gareth Vaughan Jones