Major-General John Vaughan (1871-1956)
Major-General John Vaughan, C.B., C.M.G., D.S.O., D.L., J.P., was born in Mangalore, India, on July 31st, 1871. He was the second son of John and Elinor Anne Vaughan. He was educated at Eton College before attending the Royal Military College, Sandhurst. He married Louisa Evelyn in 1913.
The Nannau Estate was bequeathed to him by his mother in 1917. He mentions in his war memoirs, “Cavalry and Sporting Memories”, published in 1954, that the estate was “not at all profitable because the farms are too small and numerous and the land is too poor”.
He was a cavalry officer in the 7th (Queen’s Own) Hussars and the 10th (The Prince of Wales’s Own) Royal Hussars of the British Army. He fought in several conflicts on the African continent. During the First World War he commanded the 3rd Cavalry Brigade and then the 3rd Cavalry Division. For which he was awarded a Order of the Bath, and a Bar for the Distinguished Service Order, the first of which he had received in South Africa.
He married Louisa Evelyn Stewart on 22nd October 1913. She was the eldest daughter of Captain J. Stewart of Cardiganshire.
He retired from the army in 1920. In 1932 he became the Welsh President of the British Legion, a Justice of the Peace and remained the Deputy Lieutenant of Merionethshire until 1954. He briefly returned to the army during the Second World War as a Zone Commander in the Home Guard.
He wrote his autobiography in 1954 “Cavalry & Sporting Memories”. Details Here (224 pages, published by Bala Press). He concluded it thus:
‘Today, except for my uniform as Hon. Colonel of the 10th Merioneth Cadet Battalion R.W.F., I have shed my khaki and returned to my extremely comfortable, but somewhat over-large, ancestral home at Nannau, there to live in the midst of my Welsh tenants of whom I can truly say that they are the most neighbourly of people in the world.
I have much to be thankful for in a long life; good regiments, good friends, good luck, good sport, good horses and a good wife and home.’
The General died after falling off his horse on the estate on January 21st, 1956. He was 84.
On the day following his death, his butler Sylvanus Jones Owen was heard to comment that the General “was a very plain man, without adornment of any kind. He wore an old leather watch strap and his clothes were never new.” It was the highest compliment he could pay his master, for in common with many others, he worshipped him.