October - Thoughts of home from a father at war

A group photo of WW1 Officers, with Lord Howard de Walden seated bottom rom, second from right
Published : 01 Oct 2016 Last update : 23 Nov 2016

When war was declared in 1914 Tommy, 8th Lord Howard de Walden, handed over his new yacht to the Navy, his horses to the Army, and set sail for Egypt...

Later, he was one of the last men to be evacuated from Suvla Bay in the ill-fated Gallipoli Expedition. In November 1916, Tommy then became second-in-command of the 9th Battalion Royal Welch Fusiliers, and in 1917 he had a gruelling experience of trench warfare in North West France during the Battle of Messines. 

This month I thought you’d like to hear about a very special audio-interpretation which we’re looking forward to opening on 8th October to better tell his story. On that day we’ll warmly welcome Thomas Seymour, grandson of Lord Howard de Walden, who will formally open an exhibition which will focus on his grandfather’s life during the First World War, and specifically on his thoughts of home, in Chirk Castle.

This completely new interpretation will be located on the top floor of the Adam Tower in the room which ‘Tommy’ used as his study, and will remain there for the duration of our First World War remembrance.
 
Included in the exhibition will be two letters which Lord Howard de Walden wrote to his son John, in 1915 and 1917; we are delighted that Thomas Seymour has kindly agreed to narrate them for us, so we may all enjoy his grandfather’s sentiments, as he longs for the peace and beauty of the Ceiriog Valley whilst enduring the horror of Gallipoli and later, the trenches.
 
In addition we will be holding a First World War community research day on Thursday 13 October at Glyn Wylfa community centre in Chirk, LL14 5BS, from 11am to 3pm.
 
We would like to gather information about medals, photos, or letters concerning the local area during the period from 1914 to 1918, and also from other conflicts, so if you know of a story from the local area please come along and share it with us.
 
Local historians, National Trust staff and staff from the Royal Welch Fusiliers museum will be on hand to help us record any stories. You can also make a poppy cross dedicated to your loved ones that can be taken home or displayed at Chirk Castle
 
For further information, please contact Rachel Coman, Volunteering and Community Officer: 01691 776338 or email: rachel.coman@nationaltrust.org.uk