Cowboy, gold miner, hunter, soldier, novelist, historian, playwright, manager of the Welsh National Drama Company and Welsh Nationalist, Lt. Colonel Arthur Owen Vaughan, DSO, OBE, DCM ‘Owen Roscomyl’ was all of these in his eventful life. Bryn Owen tells the story of this remarkable Welshman, and, especially, how he raised, almost single-handed, the Regiment of the Welsh Horse Yeomanry at the beginning of the First World War, overcoming both the antipathy of Kitchener and the concerted Establishment opposition.
Owen Roscomyl possessed not only tremendous physical courage and resourcefulness but also a keen intellect, artistic sensibility and political awareness. His outspoken views on Welsh Nationalism antagonised the powerful Establishment figures in South Wales and the scandal of his subsequent treatment and the betrayal of the Welsh Horse is told here for the first time.
Political intrigue, largely motivated by Rosomyl’s Nationalist views and unorthodox background, dominated events. The status of the regiment was changed, Roscomyl denied command and the men parted from their horses. The Regiment of the Welsh Horse Guards, envisaged by Roscomyl, ws reduced to an infantry role.
Nonetheless, imbued with the fighting spiriting of their founder, the Welsh Horse went on to glorious deeds, particularly at Gallipoli where men of the regiment maintained a rearguard action during the evacuation of the Peninsula and were amongst the last to leave.
Meanwhile, Owen Roscomyl, the proud cavalryman, was posted to the 21str Division Cyclists. He died in 1919 having served throughout the War. He left a widow, the Boer girl, Catherine Lois de Geere, whom he married in a Drum Head ceremony on the banks of the Vaal River. She bore him several children and lived near Cardiff until her death in 1927.