A former British Army Cadet trainer and experienced hiker who disappeared in Crete almost a month ago is “the last person you would ever expect to go missing”, his grandson has said in a fresh appeal for public support.
Arthur Jones, 73 from Denbigh in North Wales, was described as a highly self-reliant and active pensioner who spent much of his life teaching others essential survival skills.
He was last seen on Thursday 19 June, two days after he arrived on the Greek island for a holiday, and his family only realised he was missing when he failed to make his return flight the following Tuesday.
North Wales Police flew out to Crete to join Greek officers in the search for Mr Jones, but returned home yesterday after attempts to narrow the hunt to a cemetery where he signed the visitors’ book proved unsuccessful.
The retired scaffolder is a father of four and a grandfather of six, and members of the family will be staying in Crete to help drive the search, centred around the Chania resort where Mr Jones was staying.
Speaking today about his grandfather, 20-year-old Aled Canter said he would often go away on walking holidays on his own but that it was very out of character for him to neither return on time nor get in touch.
“My grandfather was in the Merchant Navy, the Territorial Army and used to be a sergeant major of the Cadets,” Mr Canter said.
“When we were young he taught us all how to use a map and compass, and if the kids (Cadets) didn’t have enough money to buy their gear, he’d go out and buy it for them.
“He would always go out on his own as a hiker, he’d been on loads of walking holidays and trekked up mountains in Australia.
“He’s the last person you’d expect to go missing.”
North Wales Police said yesterday that they will continue to keep in touch with the search still ongoing with the authorities in Greece, while Mr Canter said the British Consulate had been helping to coordinate international efforts.
Celebrities including the comedian Alan Carr and actress Morgan Fairchild have got behind the campaign to find Mr Jones via social media, and Chris Ruane, the North Wales MP for the Vale of Clwyd, has raised the issue with David Cameron.
Anyone who was on holiday in Crete and remembers seeing Mr Jones, or who may have other information relating to the search, was urged to contact the police via 101 or the Missing Abroad Operations Team on 02070 475060.