Sunday, May 25, 2008

Stocks Farm 1970 - 2002


Stocks and Harvestgate in 1973. Click the heading for more photos

Under Patrick, Stocks (with the addition of Harvestgate) became one of the finest farms in the Meon Valley, regularly winning prizes for its crops. In the early days, sugar beet and potatoes were grown alongside the oats, wheat and barley, and beef cattle were reared and there were sheep on the downs. But as time went on, the farm became essentially purely an arable farm, particularly well known for the quality of its barley. In later years, Patrick took specialist advice on fertilizers and soil quality which improved yields significantly, and when he turned 80 in 1994, turned over much of the day to day management of the farm to his neighbour Stephen Horn, who maintained it to the same high standard - and still does today (2008).






















The caption reads: 'Hampshire farming at its very best - harvesting on Old Winchester Hill, Warnford" Hampshire Magazine's photo of Stocks Down and the cottages just after harvest in 1998.


Patrick also built Stock and Harvestgate up into an enjoyable shoot, planting cover and copses to add to the woods already there, and rearing pheasants. At one time he employed a part-time gamekeeper so that his friends could enjoy a good day out.

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Pugh Evans Family History - the Lovesgrove Line

This is an extract from The Llanbadarn Churchyard by AW Gilbey

This section of the Churchyard of St. Padarn's Church, Llanbadarn Fawr, is used exclusively for burials by the Evans family, owners of the Lovesgrove Estate. The Evans family also have a vault in the older, closed section of the Churchyard at A139.

When Sir Griffith Humphrey Pugh Evans died in 1902 he left three sons and four daughters and the Lovesgrove estate passed to one of his sons, Lewis Pugh Evans.

Lewis Pugh Evans was the second son of the Evans family and he was educated at Eton and Sandhurst before entering the Army with a commission in the Black Watch with whom he served in the Boer War in South Africa: there he received the Queen's Medal and later the King's Medal.

After service with the Black Watch in India Lewis Pugh Evans returned to England and obtained a pilot's certificate and when the First World War broke out in 1914 he was posted as an observer with the Royal Flying Corps but after a few months he returned to the Black Watch and in 1917 was appo inted to command the First Battalion of the Lincolnshire Regiment and in 1928 he retired from the Army.

In 1917 Lewis Pugh Evans earned the Victoria Cross for his 'conspicuous bravery and leadership' in an action on the Western Front. At Zonnebeke on the 4th of October, 1917, he took his battalion in perfect order through a terrific enemy barrage and led them into the assault. The battalions advance was held up by enemy fire, which caused many casualties, from a machine-gun emplacement until Lewis Pugh Evans rushed the enemy armed with his revolver and forced them to surrender. Al though twice severely wounded in the action he continued to lead and direct his men until they had won their objectives. Lewis Pugh Evans was mentioned in despatches no less than seven times and his other medals and awards included the D.S.O and Bar; the 1914 Star and Clasp; the British War Medal; the Victory Medal; the Order of Leopold of Belgium and the Croix de Guerre: he was also a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George.

On his retirement from active service Lewis Pugh Evans returned to Lovesgrove here he took an active part in the life of the community and was well respected in the district. He maintained his interest in military matters by accepting the position as Honorary Colonel of the Cardiganshire Army Cadet Force and was for 25 years President of the Aberystwyth Branch of the British Legion. He aIso served during the early part of the Second World War as a Military Liason Officer at the Headquarters of the Wales Region. Lewis Pugh Evans took a great interest in agriculture and frequently took part in local agricultural shows. He was a Churchwarden at Llanbadarn and a Justice of the Peace on the local bench as well as Deputy Lieutenant for Cardiganshire and a Freeman of the borough of Aberystwyth.

Brig-Gen Lewis Pugh Evans was married in 1919 to Dorothea Margaret Seagrave, eldest daughter of John Carbery Pugh Vaughan Pryse-Rice and his wife, Dame Margaret, of Llwynybrain, near Llandovery. The couple had one son, Griffith Eric Carbery Vaughan Evans, before the death of Margaret in 1921.

Griffith Eric Carbery Vaughan Evans was, like his father, educated at Eton and also served in his father's old regiment, the Black Watch, as well as the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders during the Second World War. He was married to Barbara, daughter of Philip Noel Rogers of London and they had two sons. The eldest, Christopher Lewis Vaughan Pryse Evans inherited the Lovesgrove estate on the death of his grandfather.

Betha Millicent Evans was the fifth child and third daughter of Sir Griffith Evans and Gwyneth Veronica Evans was her youngest sister. Both took a keen interest in the work of the Red Cross and the younger sister worked in the Red Cross Hospital at Aberystwyth during the First World War. Both sisters also helped to run and organise the Women's Voluntary Service for the Aberystwyth area. Betha Millicent also supported the Girls' Friendly Society and for over 50 years worked on behalf of the Soldiers and Sailors Family Association. Gwyneth Veronica worked tirelessly on behalf of the Girl Guides and on behalf of the Parish Church which she loved so much at Llanbadarn.

Alice Mary Greer was the eldest daughter of Sir Griffith Evans and married Richard Townsend Greer in 1902. At that time he was Chairman of the Calcutta Corporation though he was later to become commissioner of Behar and Orissa, Inspector General of the Police of Bengal and a member of the Governors Executive Council. He was the fifth son of the Rev. George Greer, rector of County Down and was educated at Trinity College, Dublin. A keen rugby player he represented the College, the Wanderers and the North of Ireland and gained international honour in 1876 when he played, as one of a team of twenty, for Ireland. In 1877 he entered the Indian Civil Service where he rapidly rose to prominence; a Freemason he was to be Deputy Grand Master of Bengal. A prominent figure in Calcutta he set up the Indian Youth Athletic Club and was awarded the Companionship of the Star of India in 1904. In 1912 the couple returned to Llanbadarn Fawr to live at Dolau and Richard became a J.P. in 1917; the couple had four children of whom three survived.

Gladys Gwendolyn Alice Lyell was the third child of Richard and Alice Greer and she married Arthur Lindsay Lyell at Llanbadarn in October 1931 but died three years later at Calcutta.

Griffith Pugh Evans was a son of Sir Griffith and Lady Evans. He was educated at Magdalen College, Oxford, where he gained a honours degree in history, and he was called to the Bar at Lincoln's Inn. He served as a Justice of the Peace on the Llanbadarn Bench for 42 years. As a young lad of 13 he was struck by a paralysis which he overcame to lead an active life. A keen huntsman with the Gogerddan Hounds he was an accomplished horseman and a lover of country sports especially fishing. In the First World War he saw active service with armoured cars in France, Belgium, Russia and Rumania and was awarded the Croix de Guerre with Palms, the Order of Stanislaus and Officer of the Crown (Russia) and the Chevalier of the Star of Rumania. After the war he became a farmer at Home Farm, Lovesgrove, and took a keen interest in the improvement of agriculture. A supporter of agricultural Shows he was nearly killed at Talybont Show in 1938 when an upturned carriage drawn by a frightened horse smashed through a table on which he was leaning and he broke his thigh falling off a horse at the age of 64. A supporter of Llanbadarn Church he was also a staunch Conservative. He was President of the Trefeurig Branch of the British Legion and a member of the Governing Body of the Church in Wales, of the Territorial Army Association and of the Parish Council.


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Friday, May 16, 2008

Futatsumori Family


The Futatsumori ('Two Forests') family come from a village of the same name in Aomori, near where Ayako's parents Juro and Shizue lived. It's a large village and members of the family still live there, including a cousin who is a local politician. There is a fine bridge nearby which bears the family crest.

Juro moved to Tokyo before the war, and served with the Japanese army in China. Ayako's mother's family, the Takahashi's, are from Tokyo.

Shizue Takahashi and Juro Futatsumori were married and returned to Aomori in the 1950s where he became a schoolteacher, later the headmaster of a local primary school. He was also a noted kendo master. Shizue had seven children, the eldest being Taeko, who lives in Aomori City; Ayako (1955) being the youngest. Osamu is the oldest brother, but a second brother, Seiko, had a breakdown at the age of 19 and went into a home. He died in July 2007. Of the three other sisters, Junko married an American Seymour Bogitch, who died in the early 1980s. She now lives in Las Vegas near her two children, Ray and Yoko, both of whom are married. Keiko lived for many years in Nagoya but has recently moved back to Aomori. She has a daughter, Akiko, married to Kunio Takeda. Mariko married Nobuo Fukazawa and lives in Yokohama. She has two stepsons, Ku and Yugo and is a noted local artist.

Juro died in 1984. Shizue continued to live in the family house for many years, but went into a home at Shichinohe in 2003, but died at 93. The family house remains open and is used by members of the family when they come and visit.

Click the heading for some Futatsumori family photos

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Watson Family

Albert Melville Watson (1920-2002) was educated at Geelong and became a highly successful businessman (known to his friends as 'Multi') starting a mining business after the war, with his father Albert Henry Watson. They acquired the rights (some say they won them playing golf) to mine the beaches and hinterland of the Gold Coast for minerials such as rutile. He sold the mining business when still in his 40s and diversified by investing in the manufacture of mining tools (A1 Hardchrome) and importing clothes (Fila). He was a fine golfer, captain of the Australian Golf Club 1960-1962, played bowls for New South Wales and was an excellent bridge player, playing at international level. He also liked to play high-stakes poker with the likes of Kerry Packer.

He married Timmie (Norma Doris) Fleming in 1944 and they had three children - Penny, Prue and Andrew - who grew up in the family house, Somerset, at 62 Wentworth Road, Vaucluse. They were divorced in the 1960s and Mel married Beatrice Allez. They had no children and were divorced in 1983. Therafter Mel married Patience Hanson-Lawson who survives him (now Mrs Keith Little).

Click the heading for some more Watson family photos and here for the eulogy given by his daughter Penny at Mel Watson's funeral on 21st October 2002

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Friday, May 09, 2008

Dunley and Litchfield History

At the time of the Domesday Survey there were most probably two estates in Litchfield - one held by the King and the other by Hugh de Port. The first, which afterwards developed into the Manor of Litchfield, was granted by Henry II to Ralf Monachus. In 1228 Ralf granted the manor to Brian de Stopham. It eventually passed to John Kingsmill in 1537 and when he died in 1556 his heir was William Kingsmill and the manor then followed the descent of Sydmonton.

The second estate, later known as the hamlet of Litchfield or West Litchfield, and Woodcott, were held by Faderlin and his daughter. These properties passed to Ruald de Woodcott and remained in the family until the early fourteenth century, when Richard de Cardeville inherited them. In 1303 he granted the Manor of Woodmancott and hamlet of Litchfield to the Prior and Brethren of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem. They remained the property of the Prior and Brethren until the Dissolution when they became Crown property. In 1544 they were granted to John Kingsmill and remained in the Kingsmill family until 1766. The manor was purchased by the Herberts and descended to the Earls of Carnarvon.

From Hantsweb maintained by the Hampshire County Council

Thursday, May 01, 2008

The Church of St James the Less, Litchfield



Litchfield has played a large part in the lives of the family since the 1930s and the little church of St James the Less is the family church. My grandmother Nina, Sir Alfred Herbert's third wife, attended church there with Sir Alfred from Dunley. In 1930, Sir Alfred had the low retaining wall on the roadside of the churchyard built as well as the path up to the porch while the family of his second wife, Florence Pepper, erected the lytchgate in her memory.

My mother Annette was married to Arthur Luxmoore there in 1935 and my father Patrick's first wife Catherine Lawford (nee Stephenson) was buried there in 1941.

Herry was christened there in Sept 1945, when the family was living at Litchfield Manor

Sir Alfred Herbert was interred there with Florence in 1957 (a service that was followed by a memorial service in Coventry Cathedral). Nina donated the organ to the church in memory of Sir Alfred, commorated by a plaque

Many of the Dunley and Litchfield estate staff also lie there including Miss Tidd, Sir Alfred's private secretary. "Nannie Pugh" - nannie to the children of Lt-Col Archie Pugh and Nina and therefore to Annette, is also buried there as is Mary Bragg, the wife of Percy Bragg, who was Patrick's first farming tutor.

The Rev Hamilton Lloyd, formerly vicar of Whitchurch and who retired in 1984, was the curate at Litchfield for for 27 years until his death in 2011. Greatly loved - as was his wife Suzanne, who died in 2007 - 'Ham' became a family friend and buried Annette in 1998 and Patrick in 2002. Miraculously, Ham remarried a local widow, Cecilia Ingram, in 2009, and continued to invigorate the Litchfield living in his own inimitable way until his death.

Subsequently, services have been taken by visiting clergy and Hazel Cormack, a lay reader, until Mark Christian, a retired army padre, was appointed in 2015. He and his wife Yvette have again added greatly to the life of the church and its congregation.

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Family Entertainment



Annette learned the piano when young and played often, sometime accompanying her great friend Kitty Bulman while she sang her favourite arias. She also used to play for us at Christmas and other parties. We had a nursery rhyme song book from which we sang songs such as 'A Fox Went Out on a Starlight Night', 'The Frog and The Crow' and the rather awful 'What Have You Got For Dinner Mrs Bond?'. Fortunately there were many gentler pieces such as 'I Saw Three Ships'.

The book had the most beautiful illustrations. In particular, the frog of the song was dressed in a beautiful pink dress with a golden cape while the crow was decidedly handsome in a back tailcoat. The 'dancers in yellow' were obviously the buttercups in the meadow, so that it was very easy to imagine the poor frog being seduced.....