EVAN MORGAN’S ROLLS ROYCE FOUND IN USA

From Will Cross and Monty Dart (and sincere thanks to Glynn and Nick Williams)

Will Cross, biographer of Evan Morgan informs us:

“When an e-mail (last Autumn) began “This is in strictest confidence!” the hair on the back of my neck began to rise a bit. When the plea for secrecy

adds, flatteringly “I’m certain you’re the best person to assist!” then the

narcissism of the writer inside me is all ears.

The item was a piece of breaking news that the source (a journalist)

understandably wanted to keep others mitts off from knowing the full details of the story until he was ready to reveal it to the world.

As the disclosure is now released into the public domain, I’m authorised to let the proverbial cat out of the bag! The subject is Evan Morgan, 4th Lord Tredegar, spendthrift, poet and playboy.

The latest news story is not about Evan’s darker frailties none the less the

story is a wonderfully interesting piece, especially as I (and I know there are many others too in the Friends of Tredegar House ) who remain hopelessly devoted to Evan Morgan, Lord Tredegar, and just about everything connected to him and his contemporaries.

Evan was of course  also known as Viscount Tredegar the last but one  of the coal baron Morgans to make Tredegar House, Newport, South Wales, UK their family seat and main homestead.  The House (currently undergoing extensive repairs to the roof) now survives and thrives in the hands of the National Trust. Evan is one of the treasures of Tredegar House when (and if) some of the guides and volunteers recount accurate and reliably sourced stories about him.

The newest Evan Morgan revelation is highly amusing after the discovery of one of Evan’s Rolls Royce motor cars in the USA.

The e-mail advised:

“A friend has bought a Rolls-Royce first built for Lord Tredegar in 1936. It’s in the United States and undergoing some very traumatic/dramatic changes – which with hindsight are in keeping with the dynasty – and the car will be unveiled soon.

As a journalist, I am producing an editorial for magazine/print use and have lots of technical history for the vehicle but am desperately seeking relevant images and pertinent details.”

The journalist at the centre of the enquiry introduced himself as Glynn Williams, MBE, a name well known in the motoring world and a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers.

I replied to the e-mail from Glynn saying that I would be delighted to help if I could and (to ensure more certain additional support) I summoned up a Tredegar House insider, my writing partner Monty Dart – who knows the machinations of Tredegar House and its people, and who strives to maintain integrity on Morgan family facts.

Monty and I did just that immediately, we orchestrated a trip for Glynn and his wife “for Evan vibes” and photographs around Tredegar House and grounds, including, the stables/ garages and forecourt where the fleet of Evan’s cars  were once housed –  Monty’s husband Tom Dart joined us too and added his own expertise.

According to the late George Evans (who was chauffeur to Evan from 1941-45) “Lord Tredegar had two Rolls Royces, a Hotchkiss   and a Daimler … also a Ford van for picks ups and shopping.  Evan had motorcars too including an old Vulcan model.

Evan always had luxury cars, when not being driven about he drove himself albeit erratically, Toad of Toad Hall was more accomplished.  In 1920 Aldous Huxley portrayed Evan as the fictional Ivor Lombard in his novel ‘Crome Yellow’ whizzing round the country driving a car.

One servants story is of Evan turning up once at Tredegar House in a green sports car – which was too wide to be garaged – Courtenay (Evan’s father)  wouldn’t have it anywhere and the car was never seen again. Another servant said when Evan’s car came into the vicinity of the House it would be clocked at the front entrance gate, a telephone call would be put through from the Lodge to the Hall Boy, who would go upstairs on the roof and put the flag up, and so it was flying when Evan arrived.

The results of the incredible new work on Evan’s Rolls Royce are in the links at the end of this account, with splendid photographs from Nick Williams (son of Glynn) who was  invited out to Mexico and USA to witness the car’s transformation and report back to his father. Although the text is not without some howlers in places on the description of Evan’s persona the revamping of the car and Nick’s tantalisingly epic photographs of the inside and outside of the new vehicle are all that matters. Absolutely stunning shots.

The team of Sam and Derek Hard from Hard Up Garage, Street Toys in Juarez, Mexico and Michael Lightborne in Elpaso have executed an amazing, fearsome job on the motor, which was unveiled at the SEMA show in Las Vegas last year. Albeit purists will bury themselves in oil slicks over the fate of a Rolls Royce from1936, a vehicle that was Evan’s pride and joy ridden his faithful chauffeurs John (Jack) and George Evans. I think Evan would have been chuffed to run gunshot or ride side saddle with these clever guys, they reek of the very same spark, bravado,the same daring, the same bohemian qualities as our beloved Evan at his best and worst.

Stand by for further news if and when the car goes into a major auction in the USA. Who knows there may be a chance of the car being included in a UK sale or on display. I understand the prospects are being investigated.

What a dream just to have been involved in cleaning Evan’s mudguards or shining up the beautiful car mascot.

Either way we shall not see the like of it again.

Will Cross and Monty Dart

6 February 2017

https://nwvt.myportfolio.com/rolls-royce-rat-rod

http://cars.barcroft.tv/lord-tredegar-rolls-royce-rat-rod-sema-las-vegas-custom-car

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