Ronald Welch (14 December 1909 – 5 February 1982) was the pen name of the Welsh writer Ronald Oliver Felton TD, writing in English. He took the name from his wartime service in the Welch Regiment. Welch is best known for children's historical fiction. He won the 1956 Carnegie Medal from the Library Association, recognising the year's best children's book by a British author, for Knight Crusader, the first novel in the so-called Carey Family series.
Welch was born in Aberavon, West Glamorgan, Wales. He was teaching at Bedford Modern School when the Second World War broke out and was a lieutenant in its Officers' Training Corps contingent. In 1940 he was commissioned lieutenant in the Welch Regiment. He reached the rank of major and remained in the Territorial Army after the war.
Carey family saga
- The Carey family home is at Llansteffan Castle (or Llanstephan), Carmarthenshire, Wales. The house may be based on Plas Llanstephan.
- The home of the junior branch of the Carey family (descended from Rupert Carey) is at Horton Hall, on the Gower.
- The Carey family has a long-standing connection with the d'Assailly family of France. Neil and Richard Carey (and probably others) married a d'Assailly. The head of the family is the Marquis de Vernaye and the family home is near Graye-sur-Mer (see Escape From France).
- The heir to the Earl (usually his eldest son) has the title Viscount Cilfrew (Cilfrew is a village near Neath, Glamorgan). Holders of the title mentioned include Denzil and Bernard Carey.
- The books do not indicate a connection to the Scottish Duke of Aubigny.
- The Carey coat-of-arms is a black hawk on a yellow background (see Bowman of Crecy, For the King).
- Nicholas Carey/Ensign Carey and The Hawk/The Galleon are the only books that cover the same periods of time.
- The books contain explicit dates and historical events so the time period covered is usually easy to calculate
|Reading order||Pub. Date||Book||Main Characters||Other characters||Setting|
|1||1954||Knight Crusader[a]||Phillip d'Aubigny||Hugo d'Aubigny (father, killed 1187, Battle of Hattin), Gilbert d'Assailly||1186 – 1192?|
|2||1966||Bowman of Crécy[b]||Hugh Fletcher||Sir John Carey (not listed in family trees),
|1343? – 1346|
|3||1967||The Hawk||Harry Carey
(later 2nd Earl)
|Edward Carey (1st Earl, father), James Carey (uncle), Mary Carey (sister), Margaret Carey (sister)||1584 – 1586|
|4||1971||The Galleon[b]||Robert Penderyn||Edward Carey (1st Earl of Aubigny), Harry Carey||1583 – 1586?|
|5||1961||For the King[c]||Neil Carey
(later 4th Earl)
|Edward Carey (3rd Earl, father), Denzil Carey (brother, killed 1644, Marston Moor)||1642 – 1648|
|6||1956||Captain of Dragoons||Charles Carey
(later 6th Earl)
|John Carey (cousin, killed 1704),
|1703 – 1704|
|7||1958||Mohawk Valley||Alan Carey||Charles Carey (6th Earl, father), Anne Carey (sister)||1755 – 1759|
|8||1960||Escape From France[d]||Richard Carey
(later 8th Earl)
|George Carey (7th Earl, father), Anne Standish (Carey) (aunt), Jeffery Standish (cousin, killed 1794), Rupert Carey (uncle), Christopher Carey (cousin), Peter Carey (cousin)
Quentin d'Assailly, Amelie d'Assailly, Armand d'Assailly, Louise d'Assailly (later Lady Aubigny)
|1791 – 1794|
|9||1959||Captain of Foot||Christopher Carey
(killed 1812, Ponte Mucella, Peninsular War)
|Richard Carey (8th Earl, cousin), Peter Carey (brother)||1808 – 1812|
|10||1963||Nicholas Carey||Nicholas Carey||James Carey (9th Earl, cousin), Robert Carey (cousin), Bernard Carey (later 10th Earl, cousin), Andrew Carey (cousin), John Carey (brother),
Felix d'Assailly, Louise Aubigny (d'Assailly)
|1853 – 1855|
|11||1976||Ensign Carey||William Carey||John Carey (father), Nicholas Carey (uncle), Edward Carey (brother)||1853 – 1857|
|12||1972||Tank Commander||John Carey||Peter Carey (father)||1914 – 1917
World War I / The Great War
|Anne||1739||1814||Mohawk Valley, Escape from France|
|1681||1767||Captain of Dragoons, Mohawk Valley|
|Christopher||1788||1812||Captain of Foot|
|Denzil||1644||For the King|
|1594||The Hawk, The Galleon|
|1655||For the King|
|1734||1800||Escape from France|
|1630||The Hawk, The Galleon|
|John||1704||Captain of Dragoons|
|John||1885||Nicholas Carey, Ensign Carey|
|John||Alive in 1976||Tank Commander|
|1632||1690||For the King|
|Nicholas||1910||Nicholas Carey, Ensign Carey|
|Peter||1780||1850||Captain of Foot|
|1770||1839||Escape from France, Captain of Foot|
|Rupert||1737||1807||Escape from France|
|Captain||Dragoons or Dragoon Guards
|Christopher||Captain||43rd Light Infantry|
|John||General||West Glamorgan Regiment
(fictional, ex 110th Foot), Tank Corps
|Nicholas||Colonel||110th Foot (fictional)|
|Lieutenant-Colonel||3rd Dragoon Guards|
|William||Ensign||84th Bengal Native Infantry
- The Black Car Mystery (1950)
- The Clock Stood Still (1951)
- The Gauntlet (1951)
- Knight Crusader † (1954) —winner of the Carnegie Medal
- Sker House (1955) (writing as Ronald Felton) (perhaps based on Sker House)
- Ferdinand Magellan (1955)
- Captain of Dragoons † (1956)
- The Long Bow (1957)
- Mohawk Valley † (1958)
- Captain of Foot † (1959)
- Escape from France † (1960)
- For the King † (1961)[c]
- Nicholas Carey † (1963)
- Bowman of Crécy † (1966)
- The Hawk † (1967)
- Sun of York (1970)
- The Galleon † (1971)
- Tank Commander † (1972)
- Zulu Warrior (1974)
- Ensign Carey † (1976)
† indicates a book in the Carey family series
- "The Kings Hunt" (1963), Swift Annual 1963[c]
- "The Joust" (1968), Miscellany Five, edited by Edward Blishen[a]
- "The King's Hunt" (1970), Thrilling Stories of the Past for Boys, edited by Eric Duthie[c]
- Miscellany Five, edited by Edward Blishen (Oxford, 1968), includes a Ronald Welch short story "The Joust", which has as one of its characters Philip d'Aubigny the Crusader, hero of Knight Crusader. The hero, Owen, comes to the favourable attention of Sir Philip and becomes his squire.
- The 1970 short story entitled "The King's Hunt" is set at the 17th century English Civil War battle of Edgehill and Neil Carey appears in it, so it aligns with For the King.
(Neil Carey does not appear in a 1963 story with the same title, published in the British children's comic Swift.)
- Extract appears in "A Date With Danger" (Octopus Books, 1984). Published for Marks and Spencer, a large British retail chain.