World War One admiral honoured with plaque at De Vere Theobalds Estate

July 27, 2017

A World War One admiral who donated Cedars Park to the people of Cheshunt in 1921 has been commemorated with two blue plaques.

The heritage plaques to Sir Hedworth Meux have been installed at the De Vere Theobalds Estate, a mansion that he inherited in his lifetime and lived in until his death and in Cedars Park, close to the café.

Sir Hedworth Meux was made Admiral of the Fleet, the highest rank in the Royal Navy, in 1915 while he was serving in the Great War. When the war broke out, he worked to defend communications across the Channel.

However, it was earlier in his Royal Navy career that his links to the Borough were forged as he came to the attention of a prominent Victorian socialite.

Known then as Captain Hedworth Lambton, he became a well-known public figure at Ladysmith in the Second Boer War in 1899. He led a naval brigade to provide more powerful guns to British forces that were in dire need of them.

This caught the attention of Lady Valerie Meux, whose family owned an estate that included Theobalds and Cedars Park, and she ordered guns to be made and shipped to South Africa. Mr Lambton praised her and she was so taken by him that she wrote him into her will to inherit her family’s vast estate, with the only condition being that Mr Lambton should change his name to Meux.

The plaques were installed as part of a programme organised by the Council’s World War One Commemoration Panel to mark 100 years since the conflict.

Councillor Bren Perryman, Chair of the panel, said: “I have great admiration for Admiral Meux, who served this country with bravery and skill during the First World War. Not only did he fight for this country, but he also has a fascinating link to the Borough in the story of Lady Valerie Meux.

“Cedars Park is a beautiful and historic site that we can enjoy because Sir Meux gave it to the public. These plaques give the chance for people enjoying the park and the hotel’s grounds to learn a little bit more about our history.”

De Vere Theobalds Estate contributed half of the money for the plaque at the hotel.

 

General Manager, Nathan White, said: “We are delighted to be supporting the borough of Broxbourne and honoured to be housing one of the blue plaques which marks the historic significance of both Theobalds Estate and its former resident”