Aberdare Boys’ Grammar School

School History

school building

Names of pupils who were in the 1899 Entry

from School Records

Name Age Address
Annie Pittard
Ralph Melville Lewis
Mabel Beatrice Pennell
Charles William Miles
Elizabeth Edwards
Maggie Davies
Gwendoline Gertrude Morgan
Frederick William Mathias
Eleanor Harris
Annie Harris
S. Archibald Biddle
Maggie May Williams
May Williams
May Watkins
Annie Dumayne
David Benjamin Jones
Aneurin Tudor James
William John Harris
Mabel Florence Howell
Thomas David Jones
David George Davies
David Howell Morgan
Thomas Osborne Morgan
David Arthur Morris
John Cledwyn Jones
Thomas George Jones
Rhoda Mary Pardoe
James D Rees
Ivor Anderson Bryant
Thomas John Williams
Wyndham Lisle
Frederick Walter Canter
Lilian Lewis John
Margaret Jane Thomas
Hannah Jane Worthing
John Thomas Worthing
Rachel Davies
Lilian Heppell
Jack Stanley Mackintosh
Edith Margaret Morgan
Rachel Charles
Joseph William Rowland
William Coslett Morris
John Henry Morgan
Katie Jenkins
Alice Daniels
Lena Davies
Maud Victoria Mathias
Margaret May Jones
Olive Lilian Thomas
Bessie Williams
Nellie Goodwin
Ethel Mary Davies
Hannah Richards
Thomas Davies
Arthur Rhys Davies
Gomer Griffiths
Bertie Lewis Trott
Lewis Jacobs
Gertrude Winifred Jones
Morgan James Nicholls
Mary Lizzie Williams
Sidney Jones
Leyshon Lewis
Talwyn Cottage, Trecynon
Gadlys Isaf, Aberdare
35 Monk St, Aberdare
27 Victoria Square, Aberdare
21 Merthyr Rd, Hirwain
12 Belmont Terrace, Aberaman
Mount Pleasant Hotel, Mountain Ash
9 Commercial St, Aberdare
6 Stuart St, Aberdare
6 Stuart St, Aberdare
47 Commercial St, Mountain Ash
34 Richmond Road, Mountain Ash
56 Victoria Terrace, Aberaman
16 Club Street, Aberaman
9 Forge Row, Aberaman
24 Windsor Villas, Trecynon
Swan Hotel, Aberaman
6 Stuart St, Aberdare
Greenhill, Aberaman
Tanybryn, Mountain Ash
47 Gadlys Rd, Aberdare
Canal Head House, Aberdare
Canal Head House, Aberdare
Rheola St, Penrhiwceiber
16 Cardiff St, Aberdare
4 Bute Terrace, Hirwain
14 Tirfounder Road, Cwmbach
17 Curre St, Aberaman
Queen Victoria Inn, Cwmbach
1 Gwawr St, Aberaman
66 Bute St, Aberdare
14 Jenkin St, Aberdare
34 Mount Pleasant, Trecynon
Bwllfa Cottage, Hirwaun
Ynysfawr Cottage, Penderyn
Ynysfawr Cottage, Penderyn
Trewgarn, Ystradfellte
Fforchneol House, Cwmaman
Highland Villa, Aberdare
36 Albert St, Aberdare
2 Gospel Hall Terrace, Aberdare
Rock Villa, Mountain Ash
16 Oxford St, Aberdare
Bwlch, Ystradfellte
Post Office, Ystradfellte
Myrtle Cottage, Hirwaun
Commerce House, Aberdare
9&10 Commercial St, Aberdare
21 Griffith St, Aberdare
Berthlwyd Cottage, Hirwaun
24 High St, Aberdare
15 Tudor Terrace, Aberdare
7 Unity St, Aberdare
26 Glannant St, Aberdare
11 Merthyr Rd, Llwydcoed
13 Whitcombe St, Aberdare
9 Seymour St, Aberdare
7 Victoria Square, Aberdare
14 Cardiff St, Aberdare
Albion House, Trecynon
2 The Green, Hirwaun
21 Brecon Road, Hirwaun
16 Oxford St, Mountain Ash
13 Cross St, Hirwaun


Age on Entry Pupils entering Form 1 were aged 12+ in the early days of the school. There was no Form 2 and the four-year course to School Certificate concluded in Form 5.
In 1899 the school recruited pupils to higher Forms, as well as to Form 1, so for example, Leyshon Lewis would have entered directly into a higher Form.


Ralph Lewis lived in Gadlys Isaf. This was a large house sandwiched between Elm Grove and the playground of the Gadlys secondary school. The house was originally occupied by one of the owners of Gadlys ironworks. Ralph’s father Charles M. Lewis was a bank manager.

Mabel Pennell’s family came from Shropshire and Worcestershire. Her father was a coal inspector with the GWR.

Charles Miles was a son of R.H. Miles a prominent businessman in the town who was a butcher. The success of the butchery business led Miles, senior, to open shops at 8 Cardiff Street, 18 Canon Street, and 56 Jubilee Road, Aberaman as well as a restaurant and confectioners at 2 Canon Street.

May Watkin’s father was a pattern maker, which suggests that he worked in an iron foundry.

Mabel Florence Howell of Greenhill House. Her father was John Howell an auctioneer. Greenhill House stood at in a field sandwiched between Brook Street, Aberaman, and the Dare-Aman branch railway line.
Greenhill was the home of John Howell, his wife Mary Ann (Davies) and their 10 children, plus 3 servants. Both husband and wife were Aberaman born and bred. A former pupil of the National Schools in Cardiff Street, John Howell began his working life as a boy collier in the mines, where he stayed for 10 years, before embarking on a varied career that included a few years as a clerk at the Abernant Works under Richard Fothergill. In the 1891 census the Howell family were at the Lamb and Flag, Cardiff Road, but later as a butcher, in Lewis Street, and finally as an auctioneer. He evidently moved up in the world and was in Greenhill House in the 1901 and 1911 census returns. He was High Constable in 1900, and was for many years a local councillor for the Blaengwawr Ward. He died in 1919 in his 73rd year.

Frederick Walter Canter was the grandfather of John Canter, the accomplished violinist, who was at ABGS 1964 to 1971. John’ father Wilf also attended the school, arriving in 1927.

The Worthing siblings lived between Hirwaun and Penderyn. Ynysfawr is located almost opposite the entrance to Ty Newydd Country Hotel on the A4059.

Lilian Heppell lived in Fforchneol Farm, also known as Fforchneol House. This was for 17 years the home of W.J. Heppell, (1856–1911), mining engineer and colliery agent. Heppell came from South Shields, but spent the last thirty years of his life in the South Wales coal industry living for almost all these years in Cwmaman. He was managing director of the Cwmaman Coal Company, was a member of the South Wales Coalowners’ Association, and was chairman of that body in 1909. He was for many years a member of the Aberdare School Board and was its chairman from 1901 until the dissolution of the Board on September 30th 1903. Mr & Mrs Heppell sent three of their daughters and two of their sons to the County School in Trecynon. Heppell was a life-long abstainer and was an ardent advocate of temperance principles. The family attended St David’s Presbyterian Church in the High Street. Heppell moved to Radyr in 1909, dying there two years later. He was returned to Aberdare for interment at Aberdare Cemetery.

Olive Lilian Thomas is listed as living in Berthlwyd Cottage. This was probably associated with Berthlwyd Farm that was located to the north and east of Hirwaun Station.

Bessie Williams was the daughter of a coachbuilder, later a motor engineer, with premises in High St near where the library is now situated. She left school in 1903 and entered Cardiff Training School of Domestic Science. After three teaching posts in England and south Wales, she was appointed as a founding member of staff at Aberdare Girls Intermediate School in 1913 to teach domestic subjects. She remained at the school until about 1943.

Lewis Jacobs was one of the fifteen children of Morris Jacobs, who started off as a pawnbroker in Mountain Ash and Aberdare. The business developed into a clothier and outfitter. Morris played a significant role in the Aberdare synagogue, serving at different times as its secretary and president. Although Morris and his family moved to Cardiff, the shop at 14 Cardiff St, on the corner of Merchant St, continued trading into mid-1980s. The shop specialised in school uniforms, as well as cubs, brownies, scouts and guides outfits.

Amongst the parental occupations of the 1899 intake, there was a bank manager and a relieving officer, as well as 4 railway workers, 1 butcher, 7 men working in the coal industry, 3 hoteliers/innkeepers, 4 grocers, 3 insurance workers, 1 jeweller, 3 tailors, 1 contractor, 1 pattern maker, 1 policeman, 1 auctioneer, 1 minister of religion, 1 cattle salesman, 1 haulier, 1 blacksmith, 2 masons, 1 gamekeeper, 2 farm bailiffs, 1 farmer, 1 colliery manager, 2 drapers, 1 marine engineer, 2 clerks, 1 shoemaker, 1 coachbuilder, 1 carpenter, 1 boilerman, 1 china merchant, 1 pawnbroker and 1 chemist.