THE chairman of the South Herefordshire Hunt and the man who founded the Herefordshire Country Fair has died.

John Williams, father of Grand National winning trainer Venetia Williams, died on Monday, aged 82.

He was well known in the county since moving to Herefordshire in 1977 to take up the reins of Aramstone Estate at King’s Caple. He was also heavily involved in the British Field Sports Society, was a founding member of the Wye Preservation Trust, and a committee member of the Country Landowners’ Association.

He was also a trustee of Fawley Chapel, which he helped save from closure.

Patrick Darling, joint master of South Herefordshire Hunt, said Mr Williams was a countryman through and through.

Mr Darling said he also became known for being the father of Venetia Williams after her horse Mon Mome won the Grand National in 2009.

“Venetia’s training successes gave him much cause for pride and caused him to reflect that for the first half of my life he was always known as his father’s son and now was known as his daughter’s father,” added Mr Darling.

“Nothing could be further from the truth for this high achieving and modest countryman.”

Mr Williams came from a distinguished Cornish family and was the fourth generation to be the master of the Four Burrow Hounds in Cornwall.

His family was also heavily involved in tin mining and engineering in Cornwall and was closely associated with Isambard Kingdom Brunel in the construction of the tunnels for the Greta Lane, the building of the Tamar Bridge and the construction of the Plymouth Breakwaters.

Mr Williams was also commissioned into the Royal Horse Guards after the Second World War and served in Germany, where one of his roles was to guard Hitler’s deputy Rudolf Hess in Berlin following his capture.

He returned to London for mounted duties and was an outrider of the state coach at the Queen’s coronation.

As well as Venetia, he leaves his other daughter Caroline, step-daughter Karen and second wife Lois.

His funeral is at John the Baptist Church in King’s Caple on September 16 at 2.30pm