John Vaughan (British Army officer, born 1871)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

John Vaughan

Born31 July 1871
Dolgellau, Merionethshire, Wales
Died21 January 1956
Dolgellau, Merionethshire, Wales
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branchFlag of the British Army.svg British Army
Years of service1891–1920
Unit7th (Queen's Own) Hussars
10th (The Prince of Wales's Own) Royal Hussars
Commands held10th (The Prince of Wales's Own) Royal Hussars
Cavalry School, Netheravon
3rd Cavalry Brigade
3rd Cavalry Division
Zone Commander, Home Guard
Battles/warsMatabele War 1896
Mashonaland War 1897
Mahdist War 1898
Second Boer War 1899–1902
First World War 1914–1918
Second World War 1939–1945
AwardsOrder of the Bath
Distinguished Service Order and Bar
Légion d'honneur
Other workWelsh President British Legion
Deputy Lieutenant
Justice of the Peace

Major-General John Vaughan, CB, DSO, DL, JP (1871–1956) 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 an Order of the Bath, and a Bar for the Distinguished Service Order, the first of which he had received in South Africa.

Post war he became the Welsh President of the British Legion, a Deputy Lieutenant for Merionethshire and a Justice of the Peace. During the Second World War he returned to the army as a Zone Commander in the Home Guard.

Early life[edit]

John Vaughan was born 31 July 1871, at Nannau, Dolgellau, Merionethshire in Wales. He was the second son of John and Elinor Anne Vaughan, of a family that could trace their roots back to a line of Welsh princes in the Middle Ages. He was educated at Eton College before attending the Royal Military College, Sandhurst.[2]

Military career[edit]

7th (Queen's Own) Hussars[edit]

Vaughan was later to write "my military career was mapped out for me when I was still in the cradle".[3] It all began when he graduated from Sandhurst in March 1891 and joined the 7th (Queen's Own) Hussars, with the rank of second-lieutenant.[4] His promotion to lieutenant came in October 1894,[5] before seeing his first active service, in South Africa, during the 1896 Matabele relief expedition. The following year he participated in the Mashonaland War and the Sudan campaign in 1898.[2] He was then promoted to captain in November 1899,[6] before being seconded for service in the Second Boer War in December.[7]

Second Boer War[edit]

In South Africa, Vaughan was the senior Aide-de-camp and Deputy Assistant Adjutant-General to Lieutenant-General John French, the commander of the Cavalry Division, and was mentioned in dispatches in February 1900,[8] and promoted to brevet major on 29 November 1900. By March 1902, Vaughan was acting as the Intelligence Officer for a column consisting of the 7th Hussars and the 2nd Dragoon Guards (Queen's Bays). On 1 April he captured Commandant Pretorius as he was trying to escape and was soon after seriously wounded. However, for his conduct during the campaign, he was made a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order (DSO)[9] and twice more mentioned in dispatches (including one dated 1 June 1902, where he is commended for valuable work in the action at Holspruit 1 April 1902[10]).[2][11] He left Cape Town on the SS Roslin Castle in late May 1902,[12] and arrived home the following month. After the war, in January 1904, having recovered from his injuries, Vaughan became the Brigade Major for the 1st Cavalry Brigade.[13]

10th (The Prince of Wales's Own) Royal Hussars[edit]

On 14 May 1904, Vaughan was promoted to substantive major and transferred to the 10th (The Prince of Wales's Own) Royal Hussars.[14]

In May 1908 he was promoted to lieutenant-colonel and given command of the 10th Hussars.[15] His tenure in command ended in January 1911, Vaughan became the Commandant of the Cavalry School, with the temporary rank of colonel.[16]

Vaughan during this time was also a noted Polo player with a handicap of eight.[17] He was one of a small group of commanding officer that also played for their regiments Polo team, Hubert Gough 16th (Queen's) Lancers with Bertram Portal and Douglas Haig both 17th (The Duke of Cambridge's Own) Lancers being the others.[18] Another sport Vaughan participated in was fox hunting, he even included it on the syllabus of the Cavalry School under the pretext "memory training".[19] It was while he was at the Cavalry School that he married Louisa Evelyn, 22 October 1913, the eldest daughter of a Captain J. Stewart of Cardiganshire.[2]

First World War[edit]

At the start of the First World War Vaughan was Chief of Staff (GSO1) for Edmund Allenby, the commander of the 1st Cavalry Division.[20] Then on 16 September 1914 he took over from Hubert Gough as the commander of the 3rd Cavalry Brigade.[3] The three regiments under his command being the 4th (Queen's Own) Hussars, 5th (Royal Irish) Lancers and the 16th (The Queen's) Lancers.[21] At the same time he was also promoted to temporary brigadier-general.[22] Vaughan wrote about his time in command of the brigade; "I was of course more than sorry to leave 3rd Cavalry Brigade with whom I had been for the toughest part of the war with very few men, very few shells and no reserves. I had however always absolute confidence in every unit and they had proved themselves absolutely reliable and versatile in everything they were asked to do".[23] In October 1915, Vaughan was promoted to temporary major-general and given command of the 3rd Cavalry Division, commanding the 6th, 7th and the 8th Cavalry Brigades.[24][25] While still in command he was made a Deputy Lieutenant for Merionethshire in October 1917.[26] His command of the division ended on 14 March 1918,[24] when he became the Inspector of Quarter Master General Services.[1]

During his time in command, it was not involved in any major battles in 1916, then in 1917 it participated in the First Battle of the Scarpe (9–12 April) and the attack at Monchy-le-Preux (10–11 April) both part of the Battle of Arras.[27]

During the war Vaughan was again mentioned in despatches, made a Companion of the Order of the Bath in 1915 and given a Bar to the Distinguished Service Order in 1919 and also became a Commander of the Légion d'honneur.[2]

Later life[edit]

Vaughan 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. In 1955 he had a book published, Cavalry and Sporting Memories, recounting some of his experiences. John Vaughan died after falling off his horse 21 January 1956.[2]

Further reading[edit]

  • Vaughan, John (1954). Cavalry and sporting memories. Bala, Wales: Bala Press. OCLC 557580048.
  • Vaughan, Lieutenant-Colonel John; Pillinger, Major Roland (1909). A short History of the Xth P.W.O. Royal Hussars. London: Hugh Rees.


  1. ^ a b "Generals Nicknames". Western front Association. Retrieved 24 September 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "John Vaughan". National Library of Wales. Retrieved 21 September 2013.
  3. ^ a b Byrne, p.69
  4. ^ "No. 26142". The London Gazette. 10 March 1891. p. 1340.
  5. ^ "No. 26568". The London Gazette. 6 November 1894. p. 6193.
  6. ^ "No. 27137". The London Gazette. 21 November 1899. p. 7015.
  7. ^ "No. 27149". The London Gazette. 29 December 1899. p. 8656.
  8. ^ "No. 27189". The London Gazette. 4 May 1900. p. 2843.
  9. ^ "No. 27490". The London Gazette. 31 October 1902. p. 6898.
  10. ^ "No. 27455". The London Gazette. 18 July 1902. p. 4595.
  11. ^ "South Africa 1899-1902". Queen's Dragoon Guards. Retrieved 22 September 2013.
  12. ^ "The War - Troops returning home". The Times (36785). London. 4 June 1902. p. 13.
  13. ^ "No. 27652". The London Gazette. 1 March 1904. p. 1364.
  14. ^ "No. 27676". The London Gazette. 13 May 1094. p. 3081.
  15. ^ "No. 28136". The London Gazette. 3 June 1911. p. 3481.
  16. ^ "No. 28507". The London Gazette. 3 June 1911. p. 4708.
  17. ^ Laffaye, p.150
  18. ^ Mason, p.69
  19. ^ Mason, p.88
  20. ^ Gardner, p.62
  21. ^ Byrne, p.22
  22. ^ "No. 28959". The London Gazette. 30 October 1914. p. 8844.
  23. ^ Byrne, p.96
  24. ^ a b Becke, p.17
  25. ^ "No. 29364". The London Gazette. 12 November 1915. p. 11209.
  26. ^ "No. 30328". The London Gazette. 9 October 1917. p. 10408.
  27. ^ Baker, Chris. "3rd Cavalry Division". The Long Long Trail. Retrieved 24 September 2013.
  • Becke, Major A.F (1935). Order of Battle of Divisions Part 1. The Regular British Divisions. London: His Majesty's Stationery Office. ISBN 184734738X.
  • Byrne, Ciaran (2007). The Harp and Crown, the History of the 5th (Royal Irish) Lancers, 1902-1922. ISBN 1847533396.
  • Gardner, Nikolas (2003). Trial by Fire, Command and the British Expeditionary Force in 1914. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 0313324735.
  • Laffaye, Horace A (2009). The Evolution of Polo. McFarland. ISBN 0786454156.
  • Mason, Tony; Riedi, Eliza (2010). Sport and the Military, The British Armed Forces 1880-1960. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 1139788973.

External links[edit]