Primrose League Fetes held at Abbey Manor, Evesham, Worcestershire.


1909 FETE.

Whilst this Post Card is not dated, it is Post Marked 17th August 1909, therefore it has been assumed that this is the year of the Fete.

1912 FETE.

This fund raising pin back badge was issued for the Primrose League Fete held at Abbey Manor, Evesham, Worcestershire in 1912. The badge depicts B.M.Eyres-Monsell M.P. and Lord Charles Beresford M.P.

The paper insert in the back give the makers name - Merchants' Portrait Co., Kentish Town, London and the sponsor - Fred Gegg of Evesham.

Diameter size 35mm.

Vice-Admiral Sir Charles William de la Poer Beresford, 1st and last Baron Beresford.

He was the son of John de la Poer Beresford, 4th Marquess of Waterford and Christiana Leslie and was born on 10th February 1846 at Philipstown, King's County, Ireland. He graduated from Oxford University, Oxford, with a honorary Doctor of Civil Laws (D.C.L.) and also graduated from Liverpool University, with a honorary Doctor of Law (LL.D.). He married Mina Gardner, daughter of Richard Gardner and Lucy Mandesloh, on 25th June 1878 in London.
The most popular man in the Navy, Lord Charles began his naval career by entering the Britannia as a cadet in 1859, becoming lieutenant in 1868 and a commander in 1875. In the 'seventies' he was Naval Aide-de-Camp to the Prince of Wales during his visit to India and was Commander of the Royal Yacht Osborne between 1879 and 1881. His command of the Condor during the bombardment of Alexandria on 11th August 1882 brought him stars and mentions in dispatches, as well as the popular homage always given in England to gallantry. He took his ship close in to the forts and engaged them with such conspicuous gallantry that the admiral ordered a special signal " Well done, Condor! " He was promoted captain for his services. As a sequel to the bombardment his task was the organisation of a police system in Alexandria. Service in Lord Wolseley's staff during the Nile Expedition of 1884-85, and in command of the Naval Brigade at Abu Klea and Metemmeh, gained him fresh honours from the Government and from the man in the street. Operations in the Soudan won him the thanks of both Houses of Parliament. In 1886 he was Lord Commissioner of the Admiralty, and resigned it two years later as a protest against the nation's neglect of the Fleet.
He held the office of Naval Aide-de-Camp to HM Queen Victoria in 1897 and gained the rank of Rear-Admiral in the same year. Was M.P. (Conservative) for York between 1897 and 1900. He wrote the book 'The Break-up of China', published in 1899. Served as Rear-Admiral of the Mediterranean Fleet between 1900 and 1902 and gained the rank of Vice-Admiral in the latter year. He held the office of M.P. (Conservative) for Woolwich between 1902 and 1903 and was invested as a Knight Commander, Royal Victorian Order (K.C.V.O.) and also as a Knight Commander, Order of the Bath (K.C.B.) in 1903. Was Commander of the Channel Squadron between 1903 and 1905 and then Commander-in-Chief of the Mediterranean Fleet between 1905 and 1907. He was invested as a Knight Grand Cross, Royal Victorian Order (G.C.V.O.) in 1906. Was Commander-in-Chief of the Channel Fleet between 1907 and 1909 and held the office of M.P.(Conservative) for Portsmouth between 1910 and 1916. He was invested as a Knight Grand Cross, Order of the Bath (G.C.B.) in 1911. Wrote the book 'The Betrayal', published in 1912. He gained the rank of Honorary Colonel in 1914 in the service of the Royal Marine Brigade. Wrote another book: Memoirs, published in 1914. Lord Charles Beresford died on 6th September 1919 aged 73 at Langwell, Berriesdale, Caithness, Scotland, without male issue (two daughters), from apoplexy and was buried on 13 September 1919.


Anita Leslie recalls (Anita Leslie, 'Edwardians in Love'; also reported by Philip Norman, 'Awful Moments') that Lord Charles Beresford (who was in love with Lady Warwick at the same time as the Prince of Wales) told her grandfather, that on one occasion [during a house party] he tiptoed into a dark room and [expecting his inamorata] jumped into the vast bed shouting 'Cock-a-doodle-doo!' - to find himself, when trembling hands had lit a paraffin lamp, between the Bishop of Chester and his wife. The situation seemed very difficult to explain and he left the house before breakfast the next morning.


A regalia wallet inscribed to Companion Lord Charles Beresford MP of St Marylebone Chapter No.1305, which he joined in 1886, was donated to the Library and Museum of Freemasonry (Gt. Queen St. London) in 2004. One item within this wallet was a Masonic certificate dated 1887 in the name of Lord William Leslie de la Poer Beresford, a member of the Himalayan Brotherhood Lodge No 459, but never signed by him. He was one of Charles Beresford's younger brothers, who had a career in the army, fought in the Zulu wars and won the Victoria Cross.

The Masonic 'Lord Charles Beresford Lodge No.2404' meets in Chatham, East Kent and was founded in 1891. This lodge is still active as of 2013.

The Jewel to the left commemorates a 100 years of the founding of the Lodge and was issued in 1991.

Commander Bolton Meredith Eyres-Monsell, G.B.E., P.C., M.P., 1st Viscount Monsell of Evesham.

1929 Cigarette Card.
Was the son of Lt-Col. Bolton James Alfred Monsell, a soldier and a Chief Constable in the Metropolitan Police, and Mary Beverley, 2nd daughter of Sir E. Ogle, 6th Bart. He was born in 1881 and married in 1904 Caroline Mary Sybil, C.B.E. (marriage dissolved 1950) daughter of H.W.Eyres of Dumbleton Hall, Evesham and had issue one son and three daughters. Monsell took the name Eyres upon his marriage to Caroline Eyres. Second marriage 1950, to Mrs. Essex Leila Hilary Drury. Educated: Stubbington House, Farnham. Entered Britannia 1894 and went to sea as a midshipman in 1896. He obtained first class certificates in all examinations, specialised as a Torpedo Lieutenant in 1903 and was placed on the Emergency list in 1906. M.P. for Evesham Division of Worcestershire 1910-1935. A Unionist Whip 1911. Returned to the Navy in August 1914 and received the Order of The Nile for services in Egypt, 1915 (dispatches), Commander 1917. Treasurer of the Royal Household 1919. Civil Lord of the Admiralty 1921. Financial Secretary to the Admiralty 1921-1923. Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury 1923-1924, 1924-1929 and 1931. First Lord of the Admiralty 1931-1936. Chief Conservative Whip 1923-1931. Regional Commissioner for Civil Defence, South Eastern Region 1941-1945. He was created Viscount Monsell in 1935, retaining his office in government until 1936. He died in 1969.
Lord Monsell's daughter, the Hon. Joan Eyres-Monsell, was married for the second time in 1968 to Patrick Leigh Fermor, the traveller and author.

Recent view of the Evesham War Memorial.
The site for the Evesham War Memorial, in Abbey Park, was donated by Mrs Haynes-Rudge C.B.E. (awarded 1919), of Abbey Manor (built in 1817 and used as a Red Cross Hospital during the Great War), who bought the freehold and presented it to the town in the name of her son John Edward Rudge (31st May 1903 - 1st Aug 1970). Eventually, after much debate, a scheme was approved and sculptor Henry Poole RA was engaged to make the figure of the Tommy on the memorial. When the sculptor died a few years later it was said that although his accomplished and vigorous work was to be seen on many memorials and public buildings, it was doubtful whether he had ever done anything more life like than the piece at Evesham.

Recent view of Abbey Manor.
The feature of the figure is it's remarkable accuracy with regard to details of military arms and equipment. It is complete even to the cigarette end behind the ear and to the rat-bitten haversack. The backsight of the rifle is perfectly modelled and the only omission is one that has probably not been noticed. It is that the rifle contains no butt-trap. In view of the fact that the rifle will never need cleaning the omission of this receptacle for the oil bottle and pull-through is perhaps explainable.
The memorial's opening ceremony on 7th August 1921, was performed by the Earl of Coventry, Lord Lieutenant of Worcestershire, and Commander B.M. Eyres Monsell, MP, and dedicated by the clergy and ministers of the borough.

Main Index Page.
The Illustrated London News 22nd July 1882, page 81.
The Illustrated London News, 23rd Dec 1899, pages 900-1, 903.
Who's Who 1953.
The Evesham Journal and Four Shires Advertiser, 18th September 1915
Kelly's Handbook to the Titled, Landed and Official Classes. 1923.
Kelly's Directory of Worcestershire, Societies & Associations Section. 1912.
Masonic Quarterly Magazine. Issue 12. Jan. 2005.