Jones studied medicine at the London Hospital and qualified in 1904. He then became a medical officer for the Eastern Extension Telegraph Company, based in the Cocos-Keeling Islands in the Indian Ocean, where he studied the growth of coral and atolls. He returned to Britain in 1907, but then joined a field anthropology study of the Egyptian Government Archaeological Survey. In 1909 he was appointed lecturer in anatomy at the University of Manchester, but returned to London in 1910 to become a senior demonstrator at St Thomas's Hospital. In 1919 he moved to the University of Adelaide as professor of anatomy, where he continued to undertake zoological fieldwork. In 1927 Jones moved to the University of Hawaii as professor of anthropology, before returning to Australia as professor of anatomy at the University of Melbourne. In 1937 he was elected to the chair of anatomy at the University of Manchester. Here he completed work on a revision of Buchanan's Manual of anatomy and wrote Structure and function as seen in the foot (1944), which proved useful for orthopaedic surgeons. In 1945 Jones was made Sir William Collins professor of human and comparative anatomy at the Royal College of Surgeons of England.
Apart from his many medical papers, Jones published many studies of comparative anatomy of animals; his views on primates were presented in Arboreal man (1916), and on early man in The problem of men's ancestry (1918). Jones also wrote a number of general studies of evolutionary theory including Design and purpose (1942), Habit and heritage (1943), Hallmarks of humanity (1948), and Trends of life (1953), where he outlined a modified Lamarckian view of evolution.