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Aberdare Boys’ Grammar School

The Teaching Staff, 1906–07

old school

1906 Staff

This photograph was published in an early edition of The Aberdarian. The names of the members of staff were not given so we are not absolutely certain of their identities. However, on the back of a photocopy of this picture, the late Doug Williams had recorded a name, or in some cases two possible names for each person. Thanks to Geoffrey Evans for passing on this information. Where two names were recorded, it was possible to eliminate one of them, as in each case the second person had not been appointed by 1906.

Back Row: E. Ogwen Williams (Geography), W.W.P. Lewis (Mathematics), Aubrey Roberts (History)
Middle Row: Miss Edith Morris (History & French)1, W.R. Williams2 (Physics & Mathematics),
J.E. Sladen (Commercial & Civil Service classes), John Edwards, A.W. Elliott3 (Biology & Chemistry),
D. Timothy Davies (Mathematics & Welsh), Miss Elizabeth Jones4 (Latin & Welsh)
Front Row: Miss Jennie Phillips5 (English), Miss Jennie Griffiths6 (French), W. Charlton Cox (Headmaster, taught a variety of subjects),
Miss Florence J. White7 (Mathematics), Mrs E. Barrington8 (Domestic Subjects).

  1. Miss Morris was from Caernarfon. She was a graduate of U.C. Aberystwyth, (1897-1901), and trained as a teacher at U.C. Bangor, (1902–03). She was appointed to a History post at the Girls’ School in 1913. As a girl she attended Caernarvon County School, and she returned to her old scholl as a member of staff and eventually became Senior Mistress there. She also returned to her childhood home, Bron Menai on North Road overlooking the Menai Straits.
  2. Eventually Headmaster, 1937–39.
  3. Mr Elliott moved to the Girls Intermediate School in 1913, but resumed his duties in Trecynon in September 1917. He retired at the age of 65 in 1930.
  4. Also known as “Elsie Jones, Harlech”. She attended Barmouth County School before entering U.C. Bangor (1898–1902), where she was an Exhibitioner and County Scholar. She taught in London, Coventry and Porth before her appointment at Aberdare in 1906.
  5. Jennie, [or Jenny], Phillips was an Aberdare girl from Canon Street, having been educated at Aberdare’s Higher Grade School, as well as teaching there before being appointed to the Aberdare Intermediate School in 1905. She was a student at U.C. Cardiff, 1898–1902, where she was a King’s Scholar and Exhibitioner. She graduated with a B.A. in English. By February 1906, she was debating on the subject of women’s suffrage at The Aberdare Debating Society, (the motion being: “Should Parliamentary Franchise be Extended to Women?”, and in 1908 when a branch of the Women’s Freedom League, (WFL), was established in the town, she was appointed its secretary. She transferred to Plasdraw in 1913, but her resignation came in March 1917. Accounts in the local paper, The Aberdare Leader, show her to have been a good sport, turning out for the staff/student cricket match in 1908, as well as being a supporter of the annual Aberdare Teachers Dances and Fancy Dress Balls. She married Saunders Morgan Davies, of Swansea, and cashier at the London & Provincial Bank, Aberdare at the Welsh C.M. Chapel, Charing Cross, London in August 1916.
    Jennie Phillips was the sister of J. Arkite Phillips, who in turn was the father of P.E. Phillips the long-serving master (1925–64), and deputy headmaster of Aberdare Boys Grammar School.
  6. Miss Griffiths, The Poplars. Her father designed many of the town’s buildings. The Poplars was a fine villa that stood next to Tŷ Mawr in High Street. The health centre car park now occupies the site. She was a radical, a leading local Suffragette, and was Chairwoman of Committee of the Aberdare Liberal Women’s Association in 1893. She can also be seen in the Girls’ School Staff photographs. She was educated at the Maison d’Education, Cardiff; Norwich House, Cambridge; Wolfenbüttel, Germany; and at the Training College of the Savoy, France. Her forename was Jane, but she was known in the town as Jennie. Her surname will be found as Griffith and as Griffiths. She taught at the County Schools from 1896 until her retirement in 1925. She died aged 78 on 5 June 1938 at The Poplars, Aberdare.
    Her sister Anne Griffiths married the Unitarian minister, schoolmaster, historian, and hymn-writer the Rev Rees Jenkin Jones, minister at Hen Dŷ Cwrdd, Trecynon. They lived in Broniestyn House.
  7. Florence White of Mountain Ash was educated at Howells School, Llandaff (1884–91), and gained an entrance scholarship to Royal Holloway College, Egham where she studied from 1891 to 1894 graduating with an honours degree in mathematics. In 1913, she transferred to Plasdraw and was there until at least 1923, as she can be seen in the Staff Photograph of that year. She died in the Westbourne district of Bournemouth on 1 February 1950 aged 77.
  8. Mrs Barrington was appointed in 1898 as Miss E. Gardiner. She resigned in the 1902–03 academic year, but returned after marriage in 1906 staying for just one further year.

Miss Morris, Miss Phillips, Miss Griffiths and Miss White all transferred to the Girls’ Intermediate School when it opened in 1913, with Miss White being appointed as Senior Mistress.