20 February 2016
The Grade II listed celtic cross at St Sadwrn’s Church in Llansadwrn, Anglesey commemorates Hugh Stewart McCorquodale (1874-1900) who, only the day after joining Thornycroft’s Mounted Infantry as a lieutenant in Natal, died at Spion Kop during the Second Boer War (1899-1902) and was buried at the battlefield.
Hugh was educated at Harrow School and graduated with a BA from Cambridge University in 1897. He was the youngest son of George McCorquodale (1817-1895) and the latter’s second wife Emily Sanderson (b 1838). The McCorquodales lived in Newton-le-Willows (in Lancashire at the time, but nowadays in Merseyside) and they also had a country house at Gadlys, not far from St Sadwrn’s Church.
George started a stationery business in Liverpool in 1841 and in 1846 founded printers McCorquodale & Co Ltd in Newton-le-Willows. The successful business expanded with premises opening in the 1870s in London, Glasgow and Wolverton, Milton Keynes. As Lieutenant Colonel, George also commanded the ‘McCorquodales’ rifle volunteer corps, which was formed in 1859. This was one of the many irregular units formed independently of the British Army in the 1850s in response to the perceived threat of invasion from France.
The celtic cross was designed by Liverpool-born architect and archaeologist Henry Harold Hughes (1864-1940), who had opened a practice in Bangor in 1892 and had been appointed as Bangor’s diocesan surveyor and architect in 1900. The cross was erected by public subscription and the Hugh Stewart McCorquodale Memorial Fund, founded in 1901, is today part of Lloyd’s Patriotic Fund charity group.