John Evans Chauffeur to Lord Tredegar.

The following article was sent by Martyn Evans from Christchurch Dorset, formerly of Newport.

Martyn is a member of Friends of Tredegar house. Martyn’s great great grandfather John Evans worked at Tredegar estate until his death in 1861 as a stud groom. John was the first family member to work at Tredegar House. His great grandfather George worked as a stud groom, followed by his son, John Evans. His grandfather and grandmother Beatrice Mina Louise Coombs met John whilst working at Tredegar House. They married in 1922 in Dorset. His Pop was chauffeur to Lord Tredegar, Beatrice’s  cousin was Maud Williams housekeeper. Martyn’s grandparents lived at Tredegar Park Cottages opposite Cleppa Park also the two generations before them in the same house. Lord Tredegar gave them the house to live in until they died or moved out. His Nan stayed in the house until the early 1970’s, then moved to Dorset with her sister.   .

pop evans sat in car outside Tredegar House with 2 others

 

John Evans – Chauffeur to Lord Tredegar.

John Evans, born in 1892 was the third generation of the Evan’s family to work at Tredegar House, following on from his father & grandfather before him.In 1911 census he is shown as being a groom/domestic.

He was a keen sportsman & played rugby for Newport 1912/1913. In WW1 he joined the Royal Gloucester Hussars Yeomanry, he was captured by the Turks in 1916

When he returned to Tredegar House at the end of WW1, he resumed his job a groom & used to ride out with Viscount Tredegar. In 1923, he was made chauffeur & was responsible for looking after the vehicles at Tredegar House .

He was presented with this prestigious Chauffeur’s certificate by the Rolls Royce company as recognition of the fact that he could drive and maintain a Rolls Royce car.

Evidently Lord Tredegar was pleased with John, as the certificate was only awarded after information was received from the owner of the Rolls & periodical inspections by Rolls Royce. John drove the Rolls Royce cars at Tredegar House, for the period September 1923 to October 1935.

Rolls Royce certificate awarded to John Evans

 

Pop and Bike

 

Pop and the Rolls Royce

 

 

 

 

John Evans with cricket scoreboard (click to view larger photo

John Evans with cricket scoreboard (click to view larger photo)

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Terrible Turk

NEWPORT CAVALRY MAN’S NARRATIVE,

Stripped and Beaten in the Street

“To be a prisoner in the hands of the Turks for two years and seven months is, as one may well imagine, not a pleasant experience, and Corpl. Jack Evans, of the Royal Gloucester Hussars (Yeomanry), who has been subjected to that trying ordeal, is very thankful to be back in Blighty again. Corpl. Evans, who in civil life was a chauffeur to Lord Tredegar, is well-known locally as a speedy Rugby wing three-quarter and path runner. His home is at Tredegar Cottages, near Newport, and he is a son of Mr. Evans, for many years stud groom to the late Viscount Tredegar and the present Lord Tredegar. Corpl. Evans took part in the Dardanelles campaign, being at Suvla Bay four days after the first landing there. The Yeomanry, it will be remembered, were dismounted here, and to all intents and purposes filled the role of infantry. Evans was here two months, and was slightly wounded in the arm. He afterwards went to Egypt, and was at Katra, in the neighbourhood of the Suez Canal when captured by the Turks on April 23, 1916. He was one of a squadron of about 87 men, who were cut off from the main force by an overwhelming body of Turks numbering some 3,000, with reinforcements many miles away, and no hope of reaching them, and about half the squadron were wiped out before they finally surrendered.”

Their Death Ride.

“They were marched across the desert a distance of about 200 miles, to Beersheba, and what they suffered en route is too terrible to relate. A German, said to have been a captain of the Goeben, was in command. The prisoners were stripped of all rations, and in some cases the boots were taken off their feet, and for five days whilst on the tramp they did not have any food to eat. All they subsisted on was water which they obtained from wells, found in intervals of about 30 miles apart. But whilst the ravages of hunger were in themselves awful to experience the lot of the unwounded captives was not nearly so bad as the plight of those who happened to be disabled when captured. Men badly wounded in vital parts were put astride upon camels, and not one of them survived the journey. For sheer cruelty it would want beating. At Beersheba the remnants of the party entrained for Jerusalem, where they stayed one night and then went on to Damascus. Here they remained a week, and afterwards continued their journey to Aleppo, where they remained but one night before being sent to Afion Kara Hissar where they were put to work road-making, starting work at 4.30 in the morning, and knocking off at eight o’clock in the evening.”

Stripped and Beaten.

“A Turkish naval officer was in charge of the camp, and the prisoners were at times brutally beaten with a “cowhide” whip when found guilty of imaginary offences. Evans himself was on one occasion kicked, punched in the jaw, and then knocked senseless for daring to exchange a few words with another prisoner, and later the same day was stripped in the street, outside the baths, and was struck across his naked back with a “cowhide” whip.”

“The prisoners were also called out early in the morning to steal stones that had been blasted from a rock by the Armenians, and this stone was used in roadmaking. Corpl. Evans was afterwards put upon a much lighter and easier task” water fatigue” which meant overlooking a water party.”

“Later he was removed to the neighbourhood of Constantinople, and was here for three months.

The prisoners were subjected to much better treatment at this quarter, and they used to cheer the British aeroplanes as they came over and bombarded the place. Occasionally, however, the raiders dropped their missiles too near to where the prisoners were housed for the latters’ peace of mind. The armistice was signed on Thursday, but it was not until the Sunday that the glad news leaked through to the captives, and they gave way to rejoicing.”

No Medical Attention.

“During the whole time Corpl. Evans was in Turkish hands he never saw a doctor, but they had medicine sent to them through the Dutch Legation in Constantinople. Men died through want of medical care. He was at Constantinople when the British Fleet arrived, and they had a good time compared with their previous experiences at the close of their stay in that part of the world.”

“Corpl. Evans took part in sports and enjoyed a fine measure of success, capturing six firsts, one second, and one third prize. Strange to say, however, it was in putting the weight, throwing the cricket ball, long and high jumping and wrestling etc., and not as a runner that he was most successful. He seemed to have lost a lot of his former dash as regards speed.”

“The statement, previously made, that the Turks took very few prisoners in the Dardanelles campaign, is lent colour to by Corporal Evans, who says he saw very few men who had fallen into the hands of the Turks during the fighting on the Peninsula, and there can be no doubt that many were killed by the enemy after they had been taken prisoners. Corporal Evans refers with deep regret to the fact that Corporal W. Morgan of Michaelstone, who was captured by the Turks in October 1917, died from dysentery just before the armistice was signed.

pop evans at tredegar in yeomanry uniform0001 (2)

pop evans at Tredegar in Yeomanry uniform

 

 

pop at bullford camp salisbury

pop at bullford camp salisbury

postcard to home click here to see larger photo

postcard home

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Most Newport Dragons supporters will be familiar with the ultimate sacrifice made by players and others associated with the club in the two World Wars of 1914-18 and 1939-45. The memory of such sacrifice is honoured each year by the laying of commemorative wreaths at the club’s memorial gates.

What will be less well known are the sacrifices made during those two conflicts by those who survived. John (Jack) Evans was a chauffeur to Lord Tredegar, keen on all sports, he played for the Newport first XV just three times between 1911-12 and 1913-14. According to newspaper reports he “was considered one of the fastest threequarters in Wales”. Enlisting in the Royal Gloucester Hussars he was captured by the Turks in 1916.

Whilst a prisoner he wrote home, on one occasion asking “Is Map. Williams still at home? If so, remember me kindly to him, and thank him for the & pound  he and W. Kelly sent. I have not had it yet, but I will get it allright” (Mapson Williams was a fine Newport forward playing around 150 games for Newport between 1911-12 and 1923-24).

pop evans 1912 team photo

pop evans 1912 team photo

Letter from Captain Morgan

Click on letter to see larger image.

Letter from Captain Frederick Morgan sent to John Evans

(Great Great Grandfather of Martyn Evans)

 

John Evans my grandfather with 2 others on Cardiff Rd with the horse & cart.pop is on the extreme left.the gentleman on the right we think is Mr Lambourne,who i think was a coachman at Tredegar House,he lived next to nan & pop

John Evans my grandfather with 2 others on Cardiff Rd
with the horse & cart.pop is on the extreme left.the gentleman on the right we think
is Mr Lambourne,who I think was a coachman at Tredegar House,he lived next to nan & pop

With thanks for all research material to Martyn Evans

 Link to the 2nd Article

 

Comments

  1. Very interesting. I am also a member of the same Evans family. My Nan used to talk about visiting Aunty Mina. My great grandfather George Evans worked on the estate. He married a maid Kate Lovett. They moved to Margam, where she became housekeeper and he became the local police sergeant. They had one son Fred who died when my father was a baby. Martin is the first relative I have heard about. George and Fred were the family names.

    • elizabeth lyons rasmussen says:

      I have just found this posting Kathryn. In the last 6 months or so I’ve become aware of the Evans family. My Nanny was Lucy Evans, who was my father’s mother.My father was Haydn Lyons and was born in 1905 in Newport. Are you aware of the Evans event at Tredegare House the middle of June? I’m thinking of coming from Minneapolis, Minnesota,USA for the event but have no details as of this moment. I will also be visiting family and friends while I’m in the UK. I know Nanny’s husband was a Fred but I never met him. Any information would be most helpful. Thank you.

      • Hi Elizabeth.
        I have also had contact from Martyn. So sorry not to reply to you before this. I have told Martyn
        you are welcome to use my personal email address. Monty will be so pleased to see you especially if you, as
        Martyn told me, will get to her talk. I will make evry effort to be there too.
        So hope this happens and Monty is the woman to give you more insight to your family connections.
        Best wishes
        Annie

    • martyn evans says:

      hi kathryn
      you may be intrested in another article i have sent to the f.o.t.h website it is on the website shown as
      reunited.it relates to another side of the family i did not no anything about until last august.
      would it be possible to have your email address so i could contact you.you can send it to annie parker
      at the friends of tredegar house & she will forward it on to me.many thanks in advance.
      martyn evans christchurch dorset

  2. Martin Wade says:

    Hello Martyn,

    I am writing a feature on Newport sportsmen who served in the First World War for the South Wales Argus. I would very much like to use some of the pictures of John Evans here. Would that be possible?

    Best regards,
    Martin Wade

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