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Aberdare Boys’ Grammar School

Sporting Activities

Old School

Rugby 1st XV, 1924-25*

From Mr David Lloyd Jones
thanks to John White for scanning the photo, and to Haydn Williams for making arrangements for the photo to be sent to us.

Rugby 1st XV early 1920s

*The date of the photo is an informed guess. J.D. Jones was 1st XV captain for the two seasons: 1925-26 and 1926-27. In this photo he has yet to gain this honour, as he is sitting next to the captain. So the season 1924-25 is a reasonable estimate. If this is so, then the captain, the boy holding the ball, would have been Brynmor Powell Thomas, who was in his last year in 1925 before leaving for Goldsmiths’ College, London.

We cannot identity many of the individuals in this photograph; here are a few we know:

Back Row: third from left, Harry Miles1
Middle Row: the boy next to man in the bowler hat is probably Glyn Voyle
Seated: on the far left is probably E.J.L. Grear2; third from left, J.D. (Jack) Jones;
sixth from left Trevor Jones3; far right Mr. E.J. Excell4.

  1. Henry (Harry) John Miles, of the Heathcock Inn, High Street, and later of Herbert Street, became a Maths master at Mountain Ash G.S. He was at school from 1921 to 1928, before leaving for UCW Aberystwyth. He died at the age of 60 in 1969.
  2. Mr Grear taught at the school from 1922 to 1926, before leaving to take up a post at Wath-on-Dearne, in the West Riding of Yorkshire. A Cambridge graduate, he started his teaching career at Bolton Grammar School, but after one term there he joined up in 1914 and stayed in the army until 1920. Ernest John Lantsbury Grear was born in Hackney and died in 1973 in Rotherham aged 82.
  3. At school from 1921-27, Trevor Jones (an uncle of Mr David Ll. Jones) was the original owner of this photograph; he lived in Holford Terrace, Cwmdare. He died whilst still a young man.
  4. Ernest James Excell taught P.E. and Art at the school from 1922 until 1958. Before this, his first job was as a ‘Travelling Teacher of Physical Exercises under Glamorgan C.C.’, (1920-22).
    After his retirement he continued his interest in Art and exhibited in the Aberdare Art Club exhibitions. Mr Excell was born in Berkshire in 1893, and died in 1977 aged 84.
  5. The gentleman in the bowler hat may be Mr Aubrey Roberts, who was active in school rugby in his younger days.

Another photograph taken on the same day, but Mr Roberts is not included.
A rare photograph in that Mr Excell has a shadow of a smile on his face !

Rugby 1924 possibly

Please let us know if you can identify anybody else in these photos.