Categories 1895-1917 William Lewis M.A.

William Lewis M.A., Headmaster Jan 1895 to Oct 1916. ( b.1865 – d.1916 )

Mr William Lewis and Mr. Willis Walker with Pupils in 1910

Higher education was developing in Wales in the later part of the nineteenth century with the opening of three University Colleges namely ,University College of Wales, Aberystwyth in 1872, Bangor in 1881 and Cardiff in 1883. In conjunction therewith –  via the ”Welsh Intermediate Education Act ”of 1889, it was determined to   ”generally provide education in the higher branches of knowledge”, this to be provided by the creation of   County Intermediate and Technical Schools

Mr. Lewis , born 1865,was appointed in November 1894, age 29, as Headmaster of Llanelly Boys’ .Intermediate School, previously an assistant master at Lewis School, Gelligaer. His post was advertised at £150 per annum plus capitation – raising the sum to not less than £250 per annum.

The school opened on the 22nd of January 1895 in temporary accommodation in the Athenaeum buildings, pending completion of the new school in Marble Hall Road, which was built at a cost of £4,906, the opening ceremony held 21 September 1897. Thirty one pupils entered the school on the day of opening, ages varied from nine to seventeen. Of the successful scholarship pupils two were the sons of fathers who were engaged in a profession, seven had parents who were traders in the town ,whilst the rest ,over half of the total, were the sons of plate layers, engine drivers, colliers and farm workers.

Mr. Lewis was born in Merthyr Tydfil in 1865 and was among the first students to enter the University College, South Wales ( in Cardiff ) in 1883. He specialised in Latin, French and the technical subjects. He was a man of very military appearance, was upright and stern and his very appearance demanded respect and awe from both pupils and staff and his driving personality ensured that no one could fail but be caught up by his energy and enthusiasm. He saw education as being the great hope for the future of Wales, himself gaining a second degree – an M.A. in 1912 for his thesis on ”Education” undertaken in Aberystwyth University

Regrettably in the middle of WW1 ( 1914 to 1918 ), a most difficult period for the School , Mr. Lewis died in Oct.1916, aged 52. His death caused a profound shock and his place was difficult to fill. At the time  the school had about 240 pupils and its reputation stood high and many of its old boys had done well in academic, professional and business life.

A successor was sought and this was a Mr. Griffiths J Thomas, M.A. His coming opened a new era in the history of the School.