Aberdare Boys’ Grammar School


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A group of university students including past pupil and school staff member Luther James, 1921–22

from Bourke Le Carpentier

Valley Students 1921–22

We believe that the student with arms spread wide, and with his chin on the head of the man below is Luther James. Luther was a pupil at the school, 1915–20, and a member of staff,1943–59, before taking a headship in one of the valley secondary schools. He also took an active part in the Past Students Association, including a period on the committee when he was association secretary. As a boy he lived in Bryn Terrace, Cwmdare.

On the back of this photograph is written “Gwyr Aberd├ór, 1921–22”. Luther was at U.C Cardiff from October 1920 until July 1925. It is likely therefore that the photograph was taken at the Cardiff College, not least because many of the students in the photograph are wearing academic gowns. Perhaps somebody will recognise the location from details in the background.

The photograph was sent in by Bourke Le Carpentier, brother of Edward Le Carpentier, (ABGS 1951–57). Their aunt, Jane Davies of Bronallt, Llwydcoed, is also in the picture, second from the right in the back row, next to the man with the cigarette. She graduated with a B.A. degree and went on to teach English at Gadlys Girls School. Sadly she fell ill with tuberculosis and died at the age of 31 in August 1932. Jane was the sister of Nina Davies, mother of the two Le Carpentier boys. Let us know if you are able to recognise any others in the picture.

Shown below is a photograph of Jane Davies with the Gadlys Girls School Staff. Jane is back row, extreme left. We believe the headmistress, centre front row, is Miss Sophia George. Miss George was at the school from the its inception as the Higher Grade School, then located in shared premises at Clifton Street, to its successor school The Gadlys Higher Standard School, and finally at the school when it was renamed again as the Gadlys Central School. Miss George was one of the four daughters of Rev John J. George, minister of Highland Place Unitarian Church, 1864–1882. Sophia George’s sister Miss Anna Gwenllian George, was headmistress, of the Town Council (Girls) School, Clifton Street.


Gadlys Girls Staff

Miss Jane Davies back row extreme left, Miss Sophia George (headmistress) front row centre.

Gadlys Jane Davies Class

Miss Jane Davies with her class, and the headmistress Miss Sophia George.

A few photos of girls from the Gadlys School and their drama production, J.M. Barrie’s comedy Quality Street

Nina Davies

Nina Davies, in 1928
(Bourke Le Carpentier’s mother)

Muriel Lea

Muriel Lea
(of Lea the Jeweller, Commercial Street)

Quality Street

Cast of Quality Street, Gadlys School 1927
Both Muriel Lea & Nina Davies are present here, Nina is 2nd row, 2nd from right.
This photograph was taken at the rear of the school, but through the upper windows
it is possible to see the characteristic round windows of the school hall
at the front of the Gadlys School building.


Higher Standar Schools, Aberdare

The Higher Standard Schools, Gadlys. Later known as Gadlys Central Schools, and finally as Aberdare Girls Lower School.
1907 — 2014

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