History and Heritage

John Gerwyn Rees
Headmaster of Godre'rgraig School

John Gerwyn Rees

John Gerwyn Rees had the sad distinction of being a Headmaster of Godre'graig primary school who died in his position. The South Wales Voice of 11th and 25th December 1953 described the details:-

From the South Wales Voice 11th December 1953:-


John Gerwyn Rees of Bronyrallt Alltygrug died on Monday. Mr Rees, who was 54 years of age, was first taken ill early in the year and spent several months in Morriston Hospital. He then resumed his duties as Headmaster of Godre'rgraig Mixed Primary School after the summer vacation. After only a few weeks however, he was compelled to take to his bed. Greatly devoted to his calling he embodied in his nature the highest ideals of the teaching profession. He was a lifelong member and Deacon of Wern Chapel, having followed in that office, the footsteps of his late father Mr Tom Rees of the same address.
He leaves a widow and a daughter: Miss Meryl Rees who is studying at the Welsh National School of Medicine Cardiff.
The burial took place at Box Cemetery Llanelly on Thursday 10th December.

From the South Wales Voice 25th December 1953:-


The funeral took place at Box Cemetery Llanelly on Thursday 10th December of Mr John Gerwyn Rees, headmaster of Godre'rgraig Primary School. Mr Rees who was a native of Ystalyfera was a faithful member of the Wern Chapel, where he was a deacon. He was educated at Ystalyfera Grammar School and Bristol University.
All the deacons of Wern Chapel were present.
Mourners at the house were: Mrs Rees and Meryl widow and daughter; Miss Iris Rees sister; Mesdames Austin, Trevor, Tom Rees, Miss E Davies sisters in law; Mrs M Cope Thomas aunt; Mesdames M Taylor, A Harries, H Walters, S Davies, R Cope cousins; Mrs Saunders.
Mourners at graveside were Messrs Austin, Trevor and Tom Rees brothers; Hugh Rees nephew; Emrys Davies brother-in-law; Messrs R Cope, H Walters, C Hunt, J Afan Jones, S Davies, J T Nicolas, Handel Nicolas, Elvet Evans, W Jones cousins.

John Gerwyn Rees was of 4 Clare Road Ystalyfera (Born 13/05/1899) and married Esther Annie Rees (Born 29/11/1902)
The Parents of John Gerwyn Rees were: Father Thomas Rees, died 1924 Mother Margaret Rees died 1942 + and his sister Iris Margaret Rees, died 1971 who was buried in Alltygrug J333

The grave in Alltygrug Cemetery

The Llais newspaper contained information as to the deaths of his parents, his father dying at only 56 years of age, and his mother almost 20 years later. They were buried in the family grave pictured above, in Alltygrug Cemetery, Ystalyfera.

From the Labour Voice 23rd February 1924:-

The death took place on Saturday night of Mr Thomas Rees Bronyrallt Alltygrug Road. The deceased, who was 56 years of age, had been ill only for nine days. On the Thursday morning preceding his death he was thought to be a little better but a relapse set in from which he failed to recover. The cause of death was heart failure. Mr Rees was a well known native of the place, being the son of the late Mr William Rees assorter, one of the founders and some time secretary of Wern Congregational Church.
Mr Thomas Rees was also a deacon at Wern Church and had filled the position honourably for 20 years. He was of a lovable and unostentatious disposition and the church at Wern, a host of friends and fellow workers, and especially his widow and 5 children deeply mourn his loss. Of the latter, one son, Mr Trevor Rees BA is assistant master at Ammanford County School and Mr Gerwyn Rees is assistant master at Cwmllynfell Council Board.
Mr Rees was engaged as assorter at Gurnos tin plate works, where he had been employed since a boy.

From the South Wales Voice 14th February 1942:-

We regret to record the death of Mrs Margaret Rees, 84 Alltygrug Road which took place on Thursday of last week. She was 70 years of age and the widow of Mr Tom Rees who predeceased her 18 years ago. She had been ailing for some time but the last few months had seen a gradual decline in her condition despite the most tender care and attention.
The funeral was on Tuesday burial at Alltygrug Cemetery.
The mourners were: Iris, Austin, Gerwyn, Trevor and Tom Ellis Rees daughter and sons; Mr and Mrs Dan Thomas sister and brother in law, Messrs Vernie and Sydney Davies, Danny and Herbert Walters, Robert Cope and Cliff Hunt nephews.