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John Tupper

John Tupper

From the Aldershot News Sat 25 April 1903

"A link with the old days severed.

Death has removed from the district, in the person of Mr Tupper, an individual who may well be said to have been personally known to as many soldiers of all ranks as the best known British general. Just over 50 years Mr Tupper kept the Swan Inn on Ash Ranges. He died on Saturday at the age of 86, having been in poor health for some time past. He leaves ten sons and daughters, who are widely scattered in England and Canada.

The deceased, who claimed to be the longest holder of a licence in England, came to Ash from London 50 years ago, to take possession of the inn in which he died. He was well known there in sporting circles, being a patron of the prize ring, and his house was used as the training quarters of many celebrated pugilists, among them being Ned Donnelly, who had for a pupil Lieutenant General Sir John French, when a young officer. The deceased was present at the famous fight between Tom Sayers and Heenan for the championship of the world, which took place near Farnborough, and for a long time possessed the ropes and stakes that formed the ring. He was celebrated for his breeding of sporting dogs and game cocks, and among his customers were many cadets of the Royal Military College, who have now become distinguished officers. He was personally known to HRH the Duke of Connaught, the late Prince Christian, and the Duke of Teck, beside to many hundreds of other officers and could tell many amusing anecdotes of his sporting connections with them. Thousands of soldiers passed his door every year, to and from the ranges, and to all ranks he was a familiar figure. Indeed one of the first questions asked of a soldier upon the occupation of Pretoria by a resident, on learning that his regiment came from Aldershot was “Do you know old Tupper?” The questioner had many years before served in the Warwickshire Militia. Before the present ranges were built the Guards came to Ash annually for musketry, and one of their firing points, in the days of the old Snider rifle, was almost on his doorstep. The old gentleman had seen the place grow from a wilderness to a populous neighbourhood, and he was held in the highest respect by a large circle of acquaintances. The funeral takes place this Friday afternoon at Ash Cemetery."

Sarah Tupper, John’s wife, was one of the first to be buried in Ash Cemetery when she died in December 1895. John Tupper was buried with his wife on 24th April 1902. The grave is in section A, on your right as you enter the Cemetery through the Emery Gates heading towards the Chapel. Look out for a cross ornamented with bunches of lilies and with ivy twined around.

Ash Museum has a picture of the rat pit at the Swan, and a picture of a Tupper's ginger beer bottle.


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