BIRCH-JONES, Sonia




Author Tags: Kidlit & Young Adult

Sonia Birch-Jones was born in Pontypridd, South Wales, U.K. in 1921 as the daughter of Simon and Beatrice Rubenstein. She grew up amid Welsh and Jewish cultures.

She attended Cardiff Polytechnical College, joined the RAF a few months prior to the outbreak of WW II, and served as a code and cypher officer with the WAAF. Her first husband, surnamed Houlston, was shot down and killed in a Mosquito Fighter Bomber over Germany. During WW II she also served with Mountbatten's Special Force 136 in India where she met and married her second husband, Charles Croucher, a British, Indian and Canadian naval officer. After returning to post-war UK, they immigrated to Canada in 1952 where he joined the RCN. She met her third husband, Peter Birch-Jones, in 1973, and they were married in Victoria in 1975.

Her first book, A First Class Funeral, is a collection of ten linked fictional stories based on her childhood in Wales. She also wrote two children’s books, Klee Wyck's Magic Quest and My Hospital Book, and several murder mystery stage plays which she produced for charities in Victoria and Qualicum Beach. In 1983 she received the CFAX Victoria Community Leader of the Year award. She served for six years on the board of directors of the University of Victoria, retiring in 1987.

Sonia Birch-Jones died at her home in Qualicum Beach of cancer on November 27, 2008.

BOOKS:

A First Class Funeral. (Oolichan Books, 1983)
My Hospital Book (Orca, 1987)
Klee Wyck's Magic Quest (Oolichan Books, 1993). Illustrated by Lissa Calvert.

[BCBW 2009] "Kidlit"