His mother wanted Gareth Jones to take a nice safe job in academia. "Why," he wrote to her, baffled, "do you want a son of yours to have no courage?"
Storyville: Hitler, Stalin and Mr Jones (BBC4) was a dense, powerful and moving film (marred only by a bizarrely dramatic voiceover that persisted throughout) that pieced together the extraordinary and almost forgotten story of an extraordinary and almost forgotten boy from Barry.
Jones was a brilliant student who won a scholarship to Cambridge to study Russian. Fascinated by Stalin, he went to the Soviet Union in 1930 and glimpsed the shadows beneath the dictator's shining Five Year Plan. When he returned to England he was invited to one of David Lloyd George's country house parties in Churt, Surrey (think of it as the Chipping Norton of its day but less,