George Gould Morgan and The Alford Family

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We recently received this wonderful account of The Alford family from Judith Coupar – it tells us of George Gould Morgan – George is part of The Morgan family we do not ever hear of.  It is very intersting account.

My name is Judith Coupar and I live in Perth Western Australia, having migrated here with my parents in 1949, aged 3 years.  My great grandfather, James Alford, was butler to Godfrey Charles Morgan, 1st and last Viscount Tredegar from about 1875 to about 1914. 

When Viscount Tredegar’s mother, Lady Rosamund Morgan (was made Baroness Tredegar on 16 April 1859 died in 1883), he was was installed in one of the Morgan family’s London houses (11 Cambridge Square, Hyde Park) to look after Lord Godfrey Morgan’s youngest brother, George Gould Morgan (born 15.9.1845, died 3.3.1907). he carried out his duties for almost 27 years.

George Gould Morgan was physically and mentally impaired,  

I do not believe James and Elizabeth Alford returned to Tredegar House following George Gould Morgan’s death in 1907 as they continued to live at the Cambridge Square House even after “Godfrey the Good’s” death in 1913, and probably until their deaths in the 1920/30 era.  This London house continued to be  used by other Morgan family members and acquaintances when they visited London, and George & Elizabeth Alford “kept” this house for the Morgan family, along with another housekeeper (Ada Spendlove) who lived with them there, and whom James Alford “hired” at the age of 15, when, in 1885, he found her crying on the steps of the Cambridge Square house, asking for a job.

Ada Spendlove lived with our family for 60 years, never married, looked after 3 generations of our family, and died at our home in Hanwell, West London,  on Christmas eve, 1945, when I was one month old. 

James Alford married a dairymaid, Elizabeth Player in March 1885 and they had an only child, Ethel Alford, my grandmother.  Ethel was born in December 1885 whilst they lived at the Cambridge Square address and she only left there when she married John Douglas on 30 May 1914.
 
Ethel told us that it was quite a task for her parents, looking after the Hon. George.  He was prone to fits and was quite gullible.  Apparently, the housemaids along Cambridge Square would “egg him on”.  George had no sense of values, giving sometimes expensive presents and then, just the stub of a pencil.  Ethel also said he would often say ….. “Pack my bags James.  I am going to elope”.

 

Mirror & butler serving dish

image0012FROM THE ARCHIVES

Hon. George Gould Morgan was born on 15 September 1845.1 He was the son of Charles Morgan Robinson Morgan, 1st Baron Tredegar and Rosamund Mundy.1 He died on 3 March 1907 at age 61, unmarried1.Hon. Fanny Henrietta Morgan+3 d. 2 Sep 1887

2.Hon. Georgiana Charlotte Morgan4 d. 22 Apr 1886

3.Hon. Mary Anna Morgan+3 d. 14 Aug 1924

4.Hon. Selina Maria Morgan1 d. 31 Mar 1922

5.Hon. Rosamond Marion Tredegar+3 d. 15 Jan 1883

6.Charles Rodney Morgan1 b. 2 Dec 1828, d. 14 Jan 1854

7.Godfrey Charles Morgan, 1st and last Viscount Tredegar1 b. 28 Apr 1831, d. 11 Mar 1913

8.Hon. Frederic Courtenay Morgan+1 b. 24 May 1834, d. 9 Jan 1909

9.Hon. Ellen Sarah Morgan+5 b. 1836, d. 19 May 1912

10.Hon. Arthur John Morgan1 b. 27 Aug 1840, d. 9 Nov 1900

11.Hon. George Gould Morgan1 b. 15 Sep 1845, d. 3 Mar 1907
 

NEW BOOK BY WILL CROSS – LOIS INA STURT

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Lois Sturt, Wild Child : A Glance at Hon. Lois Ina Sturt, Viscountess Tredegar

New Book By William Cross : Now Available £8.00 Post Free UK

From the age of the flapper, with vivid yarns of those Bright Young Things comes the poignant tale of British high society wild child, the Honourable Lois Ina Sturt, a dazzling, single minded,one-off personality who was dead by the age of 37. Sibling of the enigmatic, hedonistic peer Lord ‘Naps’ Alington, the family pile was the magical Crichel Estate in Dorset. The blond, tubercular Naps was matched only in devil may care attitude by his younger sister Lois, a delectable, quixotic creature,an accomplished actress and dancer, a clever painter who studied at the Slade School of Art and had her own art studio in Chelsea. She also became a successful race horse owner and breeder of Great Danes. But Lois’ story is largely untold. She was deemed “fast” and “high-spirited”: Lois wanted to knock the stuffing out of convention and achieved this by engaging in several long love affairs, generally with older, married men. She was for four years the lover of the much older Reggie Herbert, 15th Earl of Pembroke, and an intimate around the string of unapproved-of good-time girls chasing Prince George, the ill-fated Duke of Kent. In 1928 Lois entered into an arranged, madcap marriage de convenance with the homosexual Hon. Evan Frederic Morgan, heir to the Viscount Tredegar and died suddenly in Budapest in 1937, a victim of long years of alcohol abuse and insane slimming treatments. Author of previous titles on several forgotten Society figures of the 1920s and 1930s, William Cross presents all the humorous anecdotes, coupled with fascinating, yet often sad facts on the boisterous life and times of Evan Morgan’s first wife Lois, Viscountess Tredegar. Incredibly, Lois may boast a blood connection to the current heir to the British throne. ISBN 10 1-905914-31-8 and ISBN 13 978-1-905914-31-9

Published by William P. Cross through Book Midden Publishing 58 Sutton Road, Newport, Gwent NP19 7JF, United Kingdom   £8.00 Post Free UK until 31 December 2014

OVERSEAS ORDERS PLEASE USE AMAZON Cheques/ POs payable to “ William Cross”

 williecross@virginmedia.com

 A new book from William Cross, FSA Scot on Lois Sturt, actress, painter and first wife of Evan Morgan, later Viscount Tredegar. Lois died in Budapest in 1937, aged 37. She was one of the brightest of the Bright Young Things, but doomed because of her quest for fun and high living. Lois was Viscountess Tredegar from 1934 -1937.

A link to article from The Daily Telegraph

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/luxury/art/62799/ambrose-mcevoy-portrait-of-lois-sturt-exceeds-estimate-at-dreweatts-saleroom.html

FOLLOW BLOG ON LOIS STURT

 http://lois-sturt.blogspot.co.uk/

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Lois by Tony Wysard (1907-1984) Caricaturist & Fashion Editor

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LOIS COVER FOR FOTH

 

 

 

 

Evan Frederic Morgan: Viscount Tredegar : The Final Affairs : Financial and Carnal. by Will Cross

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Newport Author William Cross

Evan Frederic Morgan: Viscount Tredegar :

The Final Affairs : Financial and Carnal.

Available Now

Click on the link below, which has the synopsis of the book

http://screwpacketplaywrights.yolasite.com/Evan-Viscount-Tredegar-The-Final-Affairs.php

Any enquiries, please e-mail Will Cross

williecross@virginmedia.com

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Newport ˜Screwpacket Playwrights”

The Forgotten :

A Chartist Musical, which can be seen at the Riverfront Theatre
On 19th and 20th November
And other South Wales venues :
Llandogo Millennium Hall ( 22nd November )
Chepstows Drill Hall ( 27th November)
Savoy Theatre, Monmouth ( 5th December)

Opening of the Alexandra Dock Newport

liberty

In this photo Prince Arthur is in the front, Courtenay is behind him and Evan is behind Mather-Jackson (Lord Lieutenant) who is wearing a top hat. It was the day after Evan’s 21st birthday.

I have recently been involved in an exhibition to commemorate the 100th  anniversary of the opening of Alexandra Dock by the Duke of Connaught. It was one of Courtenay’s proudest moments – as Liberty sailed into the Dock (most of the Morgan family were aboard) and Prince Arthur cut the ribbon.  I still don’t understand how you put a ribbon across a dock. Let alone cut it when you are on a boat!  I hope you enjoy this animation by the children of Pillgwenlly Primary School.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Frl88o75HnQ

The film refers to the Newport Dock Disaster – this is an 8 min film about the event

the original is about 45 mins    watch  it here      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UEVB_nlobgk

 

 Monty Dart

 

 

 

Latest New Book From William Cross : Now Available – The Abergavenny Witch Hunt

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Latest New Book From William Cross : Now Available

Scandal from South Wales in the Second World War

The Abergavenny Witch Hunt

An account of the prosecution of over twenty homosexuals in a small Welsh town in 1942

The book will feature in the Abergavenny Chronicle

All profits from the book go to an Abergavenny Charity in memory of Lewis Matthews of Abergavenny, a promising nine-teen-year old who committed suicide by throwing himself under a train in 1942.

The details of the book are below

The book can also be purchased from the Abergavenny Book Shop ( Brian Hughes ) Cross Street,
Abergavenny,

Directly from the Author £12.00 including UK postage and packing

On Amazon ( slightly higher priced ).

Review Copies Available for press, bloggers ( who review books) etc etc

ISBN 10 1-905914-22-9 and ISBN 13 978-1-905914-22-7

Published by William P. Cross through Book Midden Publishing

58 Sutton Road, Newport, Gwent, NP19 7JF

United Kingdom

Normal Listed Price £12.00 UK ONLY + Postage and Packing

Cheques/ PO made payable to William Cross

58, Sutton Road, Newport, Gwent, NP19 7JF

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In 1942, the Welsh town of Abergavenny was scandalised by disclosures after the arrest of over twenty youths and men on charges relating to homosexual activity and corrupting boys. George Rowe, the 40-year-old manager of Abergavennys Coliseum cinema was at the centre of a Police enquiry after one of the page-boys complained about being molested. The boys complaint turned into a witch-hunt of  homosexuals across Britain revealing a oddball mix of abused and abusers; a farmer, a clerk, two chefs, a fireman, several serving soldiers, a hairdresser, an actor and others were arrested and brought back to Abergavenny, where almost all the offences were committed.

 

Before the case reached a Judge at Monmouthshire Assizes, three men attempted suicide, one young man succeeded in taking his own life. In the years that followed rumours persisted that several people had got away scot-free, including one notable public figure. Others went on the run to escape capture and disgrace, since all homosexuality was illegal in Britain until the changes started by the Sexual Offences Act, 1967.

 

William Cross the biographer of Almina, Countess of Carnarvon, and of salacious tales about the Morgans of Tredegar House, Newport, South Wales, is no stranger to controversial histories. Cross examines the facts in the Abergavenny case and sets out details from contemporary newspapers including closed files at National Archives, now released under the Freedom of Information Act. Here for the first time is the unvarnished truth, the background, the preliminary proceedings, the trial and the aftermath of a grisly, but sad tale from Abergavennys’ past that some would prefer to see buried forever.

 

 

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)

 

Tredegar House Late Night Friday

IT’S THE WEEKEND: Getting a taste of the party past of Newport’s Tredegar House

9:51am Saturday 7th June 2014

With Thanks to The South Wales Argus and Jen Mills for use of the article and Photos

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LOOKING THE PART Annie Parker strolls in with the Edeny Gates, behind.

Visitors to Newport’s Tredegar House have been getting a taste of the mansion’s decadent party past, as JEN MILLS discovered.

TREDEGAR House: the champagne is flowing, jitterbug music is playing and women in strings of pearls and flapper dresses dance across the floor into the arms of their partners.

It’s a scene that was once the standard in the decadent stately home owned by the notoriously decadent Evan Morgan, the second Viscount Tredegar, who held lavish all-weekend parties when he urged guests to skinny dip and take on his boxing kangaroo.

Except this scene didn’t take place at one of his 1930s get-togethers, but just last Friday, when a group of dancers put on their glad rags and took the house back in time.

On the last Friday of every month in summer, the house is taken over by dancers who do the Charleston, lindyhop and twist, while decked out in fabulous vintage outfits they sourced mainly from vintage shops or eBay.

Last Friday (May 30) was the first of this year’s dances, and the house looked beautiful.

The Trust is mixing the old and new together, putting on the dance just for the joy of it but also because the stately home was once a party-place and holding a dance does as much to preserve its memory as trying to find the original material the curtains were made from.

Chris Edmunds, from St Julians, one of the guides at the house with a special interest in the 1930s, was offering guided tours to visitors or any dancers who wanted a time-out. “You can be in no doubt we’re having a party here,”, he said. “Why? Evan Morgan. He was famous for his extravagant and often outrageous country house weekends here throughout the 1930s. Evan got to know all the rich and famous in London, went to parties with them and invited them here, such as Ivor Novello, Prince Paul of Greece and the actress Tallulah Bankhead.”

One of the dancers on Friday’s guest list was John Powell, 64, from Chepstow, who came along with his wife Claire for the dance. “I have been dancing for about eight years,”, he said. “It’s a good social event. We have a lesson or two a week and we have a dance a week.”

He came along with the other members from his dance ground, the Lydney Lindyhoppers. With so many of the group from Gwent, it’s a testament to their love for dancing that they’re willing to travel so far to get their dancing fix.

Their dedication is also shown by the clothes they wear, really putting in the effort. “We usually dress up in 40s or 50s clothes”, John said. “I get mine in vintage shops but the men have a job to find stuff.”

In his musical note patterned braces he was concerned he hadn’t quite nailed the fashion of the time, but cut a dapper figure nonetheless.

Although he has danced in many different venues, Tredegar House was something special he said. “We wanted to come to see this house – we were going to come this afternoon and we’ll definitely come again. It’s a good stress relief. I wish we started earlier.”

His wife Claire Powell agreed, saying: “Most of us started dancing around eight and a half years ago and it’s just taken over. We absolutely love it.”

Fellow dancer Christine Holliday, from Monmouth, has been donning her dancing shoes for slightly longer, saying: “I have done it about 14 years. It has been fantastic. It makes you feel happy. Sometimes I could be really tired but as soon as I get up there and I hear the music, it’s like a whole new energy comes through. You just feel the music. It keeps your mind active although sometimes you have a great dance and the next day you get out of bed and feel very stiff.”

She added that dancing could have benefits for many people: “It would be nice for more youngsters to come. You see youngsters on the street and they don’t know what to do with themselves.”

It’s not just 1940s music that they enjoy dancing too; in fact any kind of music can do, as long as the beat is right.

Merv Morris, 63, from the Forest of Dean, said: “You can dance to modern stuff. As long as the beat is right, it can be anything. Imelda May, Tom Jones…”

His friend Nigel Price, 63, from Llandenny in Usk, goes a step further towards modern pop, adding: “We had Aleesha Dixon at our wedding. It’s a really good beat.”

Friday’s party at Tredegar House was a stylish affair, but the National Trust weren’t able to recreate all of the original party atmosphere of the Morgan household, no doubt partly because of health and safety laws.

Our guide Chris outlined some of what guests might expect at one of Evan’s shindigs: “Parties like this didn’t come cheap. He had a boxing kangaroo called Somerset. Young men were invited to take on the kangaroo – and of course, it always won. He also had a honey bear called Alice. She was extremely tame and was allowed to wander the grounds quite freely. Then there was Bimbo the baboon. If he got bored, Evan thought nothing of letting Bimbo around the bedrooms. Imagine you have had a long evening partying and you come back and there’s Bimbo the Baboon in your bed.

“There was also skinny dipping in the lake. He would encourage the men in particular to strip. Princess Olga used to put the blinds down when that started.

The parties started on a Friday and finished somewhere the following Monday.

It was a really wonderful time. The people of Newport had no idea what was happening in the house.”

Many may not be aware of the Trust’s new parties either, or of the thriving dancing scene.

Nigel’s wife Bev, 54, said she started dancing in Usk and was hooked ever since. “I thought it’s something with my husband we can share,” she said. “We love it. We have built up a large circle of friends. We all go to dances, we dress up. We still do lessons and demonstrations.

“We started having lessons in Usk, but there was poor attendance. Lydney is a 40 minute drive for us, but every week on a Wednesday we have driven there for five or six years.”

The activity has become more and more a part of life. “In Abergavenny they do vintage festivals and we were once asked to do a flash mob”, she said. “We came out from the audience and suddenly started dancing.”

She has even started teaching, at a Dance Blast class in Abergavenny.

Although there were no excesses to the level of Gatsby or Viscount Tredegar immediately obviously at Friday’s affair, she said the social side of the dancing scene was excellent, with everyone friendly and welcoming.

After the party was over, she said, the group planned to go to the Greyhound in Llantrisant.

In her white dress with black detailing at the sleeves and flapper headress, Bev certainly looked the part. “I got my dress from Coast,” she said, “and the headband is from Accessorise. I do look up genuine 40s or 50s clothes on eBay.”

Her husband kept the standards up with a dicky bow and matching yellow pocket square, sourced from Extons of Raglan, he said.

The powerhouse teacher of the group, 60-year-old Lyn Crossman, was exhausting just to watch as she hopped and jived around the floor. “They just dance now. They don’t need teaching,”, she said. “This is my first time at Tredegar House so we were excited. We don’t usually get dressed up quite as elaborately. I’d like to come back.”

She said anyone should come along and try – but especially the men, as “there’s always a shortage of blokes at dances.”

The event is held on the last Friday of each month from May to September, with the house and grounds open until 9pm. Anyone can come along for no additional fee and there is no need to book.

Guests don’t have to join in the dancing, but could simply sit out in the grounds enjoying the summer sunlight and imaging the scene that once went on as the party

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IN STEP Lyn Crossman, right puts the ladies through the routine

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Claire Powell observes the floor

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Claire and John Powell put on the style

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Couples show off their dancing skills

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Dressed for the occasion

Link to The South Wales Article

http://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/news/11263596.IT__39_S_THE_WEEKEND__Getting_a_taste_of_the_party_past_of_Newport__39_s_Tredegar_House/

Alison Neil Evening – Mrs Beeton, My Sister

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Click on above poster for a larger view

One woman play performed by Alison Neil at Tredegar House

16th March 2016 at 7:30 pm

Further details contact Judith Rice on 01633 894108

‘Fantastic mum’ had big impact on Newport’s Tredegar House

‘Fantastic mum’ had big impact on Newport’s Tredegar House

 Article In The South Wales Argus    8:14am Friday 31st January 2014 in News

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A STALWART supporter of one of Newport’s biggest visitor attractions has died following a short illness.

 Phyllis Mary Roberts (nee Soffe), 91, was a founder member of the Friends of Tredegar House and part of a team of women who made and restored many of the soft fabrics which still adorn the house.

 Today the registered charitable organisation aims to conserve and spread public interest in the historical importance of Tredegar House.

 Mrs Roberts had a very active role as a founding member of the organisation and took part in re-enacting the history of the house.

 Her son Christopher Roberts said she loved playing the part of a parlour maid alongside her husband Frederick, who acted as a butler, during tours of the house for around 20 years.

 He said she was saddened when she grew too old to participate.

 Mrs Roberts, brought up in Pill, Newport, was the fourth child of five born to Sylvester Jesse Soffe and Frances Emilina (nee Williams).

 She had ambitions of becoming a pharmacist, but the financial climate meant she had to leave school before taking exams, to find work to help support the family.

 The Second World War intervened, and Mrs Roberts was employed in the office at the Royal Ordnance Factory off Corporation Road, where Bofors anti-aircraft guns were manufactured.

 Later, she recalled night shifts with dancing during the mid-shift meal break. The war exacted a heavy toll on Mrs Roberts and her family.

 Her brother Frederick (Ted), who had joined up along with her eldest brother Jack, was killed while working as a wireless operator when his aircraft crashed with the total loss of the crew.

 And later, her boyfriend Brynley Capel, who was in Bomber Command, was shot down and killed over Germany. In 1945 Mrs Roberts married Frederick and they had two children, Mr Roberts and Jane Paske.

 They lived in Malpas and later Gaer and, when she was in her 80s, she moved into Monmouth Court on Bassaleg Road leading an active life despite health problems.

 She enjoyed flower arranging and always loved poetry, reciting many pieces from memory, including Shakespeare’s sonnets.

 She had two grandchildren, Daniel and Chloe, and lived to hear of the birth of her great granddaughter Cordelia Lily (Dilly) on January 20.

 Christopher Roberts said: “She was a fantastic mother.”

 Her funeral will be held on February 12 at 1.30pm at the Gwent Crematorium.

Copyright © 2012 Friends of Tredegar House