FRIENDS paid tribute yesterday to Lord Raglan following his death at the age of 82, describing him as "kind and generous."

Lord Raglan, born Fitzroy John Somerset, died following a short illness in Nevill Hall Hospital, Abergavenny, on Sunday after being admitted two days earlier.

Peter Woodiwiss, 82, of Old Chepstow Road, Usk, who first met Lord Raglan 50 years ago and was good friends with him, described him as "a true gentleman."

He was known for his work with good causes and would allow charities to use his home and gardens.

Lord Raglan was involved in Usk Civic Society and Usk Rural Life Museum among many others.

Mr Woodiwiss said Lord Raglan would often come to his house to eat with him and his wife Betty.

He added: "He was a well-liked and well-respected man, he's one of those people who you don't realise their true worth until they're no longer there."

Lord Raglan served as a Welsh Guard and was the election agent for former Blaenau Gwent MP Michael Foot.

Usk town clerk, Jenny Mee, said: "He was a lovely man - he will be missed in Usk. I always found him most courteous and a really nice man, he always made his home open to fundraising."

Ms Mee said Lord Raglan, who was a hereditary peer, was also patron of Monmouthshire Crossroads, which provided respite for carers.

He was born on November 8, 1927, and was the son of the Fourth Baron Raglan and the Honourable Julia Hamilton.

He married Alice Baily in 1973, but the couple, who had no children, divorced in 1981.

Lord Raglan, who lived alone at Cefntilla Court, was a Bugatti enthusiast who had two vintage cars and was president of the Bugatti owner's club.

It is understood the title will now pass to his brother.

How title takes its place in history

THE title, Baron Raglan, was created in 1852 for the military commander Lord Fitzroy Somerset, chiefly remembered as later commander of the British troops during the Crimean War.

Somerset was the youngest son of Henry Somerset, 5th Duke of Beaufort. Cefntilla Court was given to the family for his services to the nation.

In the 16th century, the Somerset family also owned Raglan Castle.

In the 17th century, after Parliamentary forces took the castle in the English Civil War, Cromwell ordered that it be demolished, and it was left to go to ruin.

It is now run by Welsh historic monuments body Cadw.