Vaughan Family of Courtfield, Family and Military Papers

Scope and Content

This fonds contains the papers relating to military matters of various members of the Vaughan family who held commissions in the RMonRE(M) and predecessor regiments. The majority of the papers relate to Lt. Col. J F Vaughan.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Vaughan family estate of Courtfield was situated in Welsh Bicknor, which is now in Herefordshire, but was formerly in Monmouthshire. The family was closely involved with the Monmouthshire Militia and its successor regiments from the mid nineteenth century, with four generations serving as officers, and two being Commanding Officers.

John Francis Vaughan joined the Royal Monmouthshire Militia as a Captain in 1836, and was promoted to Major in 1847. Alongside Lt Col Clifford, he played a major part in the reformation of the militia as the Royal Monmouthshire Light Infantry in the early 1850s, and became Lt. Col. and Commanding Officer of the Regiment in 1853, a position he held until his retirement in 1877.

He felt strongly about the Crimean War, and although the Regiment was not posted there, he went out to the Crimea along with many other volunteers from the Regiment and served with the 23rd Foot (The Royal Welch Fusiliers). His diary about the conditions and events he witnessed was used as the basis of a booklet ‘The Soldier in Peace and War’ which he published anonymously upon his return.

Towards the end of his career, Vaughan encouraged the change of the regiment from infantry to a corps of engineers, which he advised on shortly before his retirement in 1877.

J. F. Vaughan’s son, Francis Baynham, joined the Regiment as Captain in 1877, was promoted to Major in 1883, and was Commanding Officer 1890-1895.

Charles Jerome Vaughan was the third generation to serve, seeing active service as a Captain with No.4 (Seige) Company, in the Ypres Salient during World War 1. His personal diary written during the winter of 1914-1915 details the activities of the company and the conditions. C.J. Vaughan was Colonel of the Regiment from 1938-1948.

Joseph Herbert Vaughan, son of C.J. Vaughan, joined the Regiment as a 2nd Lieutenant 1933, and served first as Captain and then as Major of 101 Company in France during the Second World War. He continued to serve as a Major in the reformed postwar Regiment until 1950.


Arranged in series as follows:

  • DVau/1 – Papers of William Michael Vaughan (1781-1861)
  • DVau/2 – Papers of Lt. Col. John Francis Vaughan (1808-1880)
  • DVau/3 – Papers of Col. Francis Baynham Vaughan (1844-1919)
  • DVau/4 – Papers of Major Charles Jerome Vaughan (1873-1948)
  • DVau/5 – Papers of Major Joseph Herbert Vaughan (1910-1972)

Access Information

Open access.

Acquisition Information

The papers were donated to the Regimental Museum by current members of the Vaughan family.

Other Finding Aids

Item-level catalogue available.

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

Volumes and booklets.

Archivist's Note

Description compiled by Heather Romaine, Archivist, in accordance with ISAD(G). Description completed March 2009, as part of a project part-financed by the Army Museums Ogilby Trust and the Welsh Assembly Government through the Museums Small Grants Scheme.

Conditions Governing Use

Documents may usually be copied, but permission should first be obtained from the museum trustees or honorary curator.

Appraisal Information

All records have been retained. The individual records had been given numbers as part of the accessioning procedures of the museum, but these numbers did not reflect the relationships between the records. The records have all been renumbered to reflect the arrangement of the archive, and the former reference numbers have been noted on the current catalogue.


None expected.

Related Material

The records of the Courtfield estate and some family papers are held in the National Library of Wales (ref. GB210 COUELD); some estate records are also in the Leonard Twiston Davies Collection, also held by the National Library of Wales


The records were used in research for the following books: Vaughan, Mary Courtfield and the Vaughans: an English Catholic inheritance (London: Quiller Press, 1989).)Kissack, Keith Colonel Vaughan in the Crimea 1855 (produced for sale by the Castle and Regimental Museum, Monmouth)