Godfrey Morgan Gentleman Rider

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 VISCOUNT TREDEGAR

GENTLEMEN RIDERS – PAST AND PRESENT

By JOHN MAUNSELL RICHARDSON, FINCH MASON & JOHNA.SEAVERNS

1909

Familiar as the name of the popular nobleman who forms the subject of this chapter must necessarily be, not only in the Principality, but throughout the length and breadth of the land as one of the staunchest friends of agriculture and all that

pertains to it the cause has ever possessed, it is probably news to the present generation, who may have only heard of him as a sportsman in connection with the Tredegar Hunt, of which he was master for so many years, that in his younger days

there were few more accomplished horsemen, both over a country and on the flat, than the subject of our memoir, and certainly none more popular; the roar of delight which went up all along the line when the purple and orange sleeves were

seen in the van at Cardiff or Abergavenny, more especially when sported by their owner, being something to remember.

 Godfrey Charles Morgan, first Viscount Tredegar, son of the first Baron Tredegar, and his wife Rosamund, only daughter of General Godfrey Basil Mundy, was born on the 28th April, 1830, at Ruperra Castle, in Glamorganshire, and on leaving Eton, joined the 17th Lancers, with which gallant regiment he served in the Crimean War, being lucky enough not only to participate in the historic charge of the Light

Brigade at Balaclava, but to emerge scatheless from the melie. It was soon after joining his regiment, in 1853, that Colonel Godfrey Morgan, as he then was, made his debut in the saddle, when he rode a horse called Fringe in a flat race at

Woolwich, his next appearance being at Newport, in Monmouthshire, in the course by the river-side, where the Newport rowing-club boathouse now stands, on which occasion he rode a grey mare named Miss Banks, belonging to Mr. Fothergill

Rowlands, in a hurdle race, coming in second to a horse called The General.

In the same year he won the principal steeplechase at Cowbridge on Mr. Briggs, belonging to his elder brother, which horse accompanied him later on to the Crimea, and was his mount in the Balaclava charge.

After the Peace, in 1855, Captain Godfrey Morgan retired from the Army, and gave himself up almost entirely to sports of the field, in which steeplechasing took a prominent place. Cardiff, Cowbridge, and Abergavenny — which last is described

by Mr. Thomas Pickernell as one of the stiffest courses he ever rode across — being his favourite battle-grounds. At Cowbridge he won the principal steeplechase, and was second in the next race on a horse called Peeping Tom, whilst the Hunt

and open steeplechases at Abergavenny fell to his share with Gadfly and General Bosquet respectively ; the first-named race being won again a second time by him on a horse named Bowles. Whilst still in the Service, Captain Godfrey Morgan steered the second in the light-weight Military Steeple-chase at Warwick ; and later on, at Melton, he won the first point-to-point steeplechase which ever took place there, on Mystery, his brother, Colonel The Hon. Fred Morgan, being second.

From 1858 to 1875, in which year he succeeded to the title, Lord Tredegar represented Brecknock in Parliament in the Conservative interest, and he still retains the Mastership of the Hunt which bears his name.

COLONEL THE HON. F. C. MORGAN

Until quite late into the seventies of the past century, none of the race meetings in South Wales, such as Cardiff, Abergavenny, and Monmouth, would have been considered perfect without the presence in their respective saddling paddocks of

the good sportsman named above ; and it would have been considered equally out of place if during the day the popular purple and orange hoops and black cap, worn by their owner, were not seen in the van more than once during the day’s

proceedings, either on horses belonging to himself or his brother, Lord Tredegar.

The third son of the first Lord Tredegar, the subject of our memoir, was born in 1834, and, his education over, joined the Rifle Brigade, in which distinguished regiment he served in the Crimean War, seeing a good deal of service during the time he was there.

After his marriage. Colonel Morgan settled down in Glamorganshire, where he lived the life of a country gentleman, for which he was so eminently fitted. For many years almost the entire management of the Tredegar Hunt, belonging to Lord Tredegar, devolved on him in the Master’s absence ; whilst there can be no doubt that it was to his own influence and the generous support of the Tredegar family that the various race meetings in the locality owed in a great measure their success. It was no uncommon thing to see the two brothers, Lord Tredegar and Colonel Fred Morgan, riding together in thesame race ; and on one of these occasions, in a friendly match

over hurdles, to decide the merits of two of their hunters,

Colonel Morgan’s horse, who was on the inside all the way, in jumping the last flight, not only cleared the corner hurdle, but the rails as well, landing handsomely amongst the crowd, and as a consequence had to retrace his steps, thereby enabling

Lord Tredegar to win at his leisure. The amusing part of the story was that the natives went away firmly convinced in their own minds that Colonel Morgan’s jump over the rails, so far from being an accident, was prompted by an amiable desire on his part not to defeat his brother.

The subject of this memoir, who died to every one’s great regret on January 8th, 1909, represented Monmouthshire in the Conservative interest for thirty years, being only deprived of his seat at the last general election, and was, from its foundation, one of the most active members of the N. H. committee.

This antiquarian book – written in 1909 can be had for £299 on internet

 But read it here for FREE. Click on link below – when open scroll down to read.

http://archive.org/stream/gentlemenridersp00rich/gentlemenridersp00rich_djvu.txt

 

Reunited

Martyn,Elizabeth,Paul

Martyn,Elizabeth,Paul
At the Edeny Gates

Hi Annie and Monty
Annie a big thank you for the photo’s you sent me.

Article for the website.

August 15th 2013 is a day I will always remember. I received an email from Annie Parker,
ref an email she had received through the website from Elizabeth Rassmussen who
lives with her husband Paul in the United States.

Elizabeth’s sister & brother had visited Tredegar House & had seen the photo of John Evans the chauffeur (my grandfather) on the wall.

Her sister mentioned to Elizabeth about this & Elizabeth sent the email to the website.

After a couple of days Annie passed on Elizabeth’s email address to me. I was then able to send an email with the family history which goes back three generations of working at Tredegar House.

Elizabeth & I have been in contact ever since

Elizabeth’s connection to the Evans family is through John Evans’ older sister; Lucy who married William Henry Lyons in Newport. They had three children – Elizabeth’s father Hayden Desire Lyons plus two Daughters. Hayden then married & moved to Birmingham. He was an oboe player in the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra…

I happened to mention to Elizabeth about a talk at Tredegar House about the servants in the 1900,s by Monty Dart which was on June 11th.  I was overjoyed when Elizabeth & Paul said they would be coming over to visit family & friends & would be visiting Newport for two days and could
to come to the talk & also to meet up for the first time. I travelled up from Christchurch in Dorset &
met up with them at her brothers in Bristol. They then travelled with me to Newport.
In the evening we went to a wonderful talk by Monty who used some of my photos.
Elizabeth’s brother & sister from Bristol also came over, also my brother from Newport.

The next day I took Elizabeth & Paul to see the house that the Evans family had lived in for over 120 years.

Elizabeth was taking a photo of the house when the owner walked up to us.we explained about house and the connection to us.
We then were invited inside what is now one large house. It used to be four cottages.
To sit in what would have been Nan & Pops lounge for the first time in 40 years for me &
Elizabeth it was so wonderful.
In the afternoon we were invited by Monty & Annie to go around Tredegar House & the
gardens, we were overjoyed. We then went back to my brother & sister in laws for the evening. What a wonderful 2 days.

Martyn Evans

Elizabeth and Paul

Elizabeth and Paul
At the Dining table
In the Brown Room

Sir Briggs The Original War Horse

 The Original War Horse.

A visitor will find the grave of Sir Briggs in the Cedar Garden of Tredegar House.

The Friends of Tredegar House, are so pleased to announce:

that after consultation With The National Trust

We are to provide funds for the restoration of the grave,

Which is now completed

The inscription reads:

In Memory of Sir Briggs

Favourite charger. He carried his master the Hon. Godfrey Morgan, Captain 17th Lancers boldly and well at the Battle of Alma, in the first line of the Light Cavalry Charge at Balaclava and the battle of Inkerman, 1854.

Sir BriggsHe died at Tredegar Park February 6th 1874. Aged 28 years.

Sir Briggs was bought in 1851, the same year he won the hunt Steeple Chase at Cowbridge. When the Crimea war broke out, the most sensible thing would have been to send horses and men by steam ship to the Black Sea. It wasn’t to be. Sir Briggs set sail from Portsmouth in 1854 on board the Edmundsbury, a sailing ship carrying forty horses, four of which belonged to Godfrey. They lost horses to seasickness. ‘Atheist’ Captain Morgan’s 2nd charger died and was thrown overboard. Other horses continued to die.

The vessel stopped briefly at Malta, and by 19 May had reached the Dardanelles. The vessel anchored at Constantinople for four days. The regiment had lost twenty six horses, and others continued to die.

The troops then embarked for the Bulgarian port of Varna. The Bulgarian phase ended when the Turks took Silistria, and the Russians retreated.

At the Crimea, the cavalry remained largely inactive. It was not until Balaclava, that bloody action was seen. The exact numbers taking part in the charge is controversial, and put between 661 and 673. After the charge only 195 came back. Sir Briggs received a sabre cut to the forehead.

Inkerman followed. Horses became ‘hog-maned’ and ‘rat-tailed’. Many died from starvation.

Godfrey Morgan became sick and returned to Constantinople. Sir Briggs remained in the Crimea with his brother Frederick Morgan, and was used as his staff horse. In the same year that Sebastopol fell, Sir Briggs won the military steeplechase at Sebastopol.

In 1855 Sir Briggs returned to Tredegar House, where he was finally buried.

Sir Briggs’s Monument in the Cedar Gardens

Article by Monty Dart

National Army Museum article about Sir Briggs (click here)

 

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

 

Copyright © 2012 Friends of Tredegar House