Cymdeithas Hanes Mechell



Cegin Filwr

Anglesey Trading Company


Brynddu and  the


The Church

John Elias

Ffair Mechell

Maes Mawr



The Gallery

Sir Owen Thomas

The Meddanen

and Wygyr

William Jones,


Fortunatus Wright,


Jones the  Crown

Llanfechell Memorial

Llanfechell Chapels

Crop Marks at Carrog

Place Names

Robert Williams, Deacon

The Post Office

Gweirydd ap Rhys

The Demography of Llanfechell 1851 & 1901

Llanfechell Cemetery

William Bulkeley and the poor of Llanfechell

Maureen’s Family Tree

Llanfechell in the early 19th Century

The Brothers of Brynddu  

With thanks to Mr Robert Williams

Llanfechell Memorial

The Brothers                -        Trevor Thomas

                                            Robert Newton Thomas

                                            Owen Vincent Thomas


The three brothers formerly of Brynddu were the sons of Owen Thomas who, with his wife Fredericka Wilhemina Pershouse, had moved to Brynddu in September 1888. Their family of four sons and one daughter were all born there apart from Owen Vincent who was born in Brighton.

Brynddu was their home until 1899 when Owen Thomas left to fight the Boer War with others from Cemaes and Llanfechell Volunteers. After nearly a year fighting the Boers, Owen Thomas came back to a hero’s welcome off the train at Rhosgoch and later at Llanfechell and Llannerchymedd. When he sailed to South Africa for the second time he took his family with him to Cape Colony, apart from his eldest son, Leyton, who stayed with his grandmother (who had re-married) at Blackbrooke, Skenfrith,  Monmouthshire. He died in January 1906 when his parents were still in Africa.

We have a photograph of Owen Thomas’ son, Robin, as a bugler with his father. Records show that his next son Owen Vincent was also a bugler. Both were enlisted by their father as being twelve years old in 1901. In actual fact Robin was only eleven and Owen Vincent was seven years old. Family tradition tells us that Trefor, the youngest son, wanted to join his brothers but he was only five.

We move on to 1914 just two weeks before the outbreak of the Great War and we find Owen Thomas back in Cemaes, mediating successfully in a dispute between Lady Hughes Hunter and the parishioners of Cemaes losing some of their rights with the building of the promenade at Cemaes.

A couple of months later Owen Thomas was back in Anglesey, this time recruiting for an Anglesey Battalion to fight in the war. Together with religious leaders he was urging his compatriots to fight with him as he himself was prepared to fight in the war. His enthusiasm might have been overstated when he declared that ‘he would rather see his sons come back in their coffins rather than staying home as cowards.’ It is unlikely that he ever uttered such fateful comments.


Lieutenant Trefor Thomas R.W.F

In 1916 Lieutenant Trefor Thomas R.W.F. was killed by a sniper’s bullet. His section 38 was defending the Neuve Chappell sector in North West France. The section later went on to fight in the Somme and they were ordered to take ‘Mametz Wood’ which was a disastrous failure. The Memorial Certificate was obtained off the Internet at -   . Thomas’ grave is at St Vaast Post Cemetery, Richmond L’Avoue.

His grave at St Vaast Post, Richmond, L'Avoue


Flight Commander Robert Newton Thomas R.W.F. R.F.C. B.A. Jesus College, Camebridge.

As mentioned he was a bugler in the Boer War with his brother. He was awarded the Croix de Guerre after being in action in France for nearly a year.

In July 1917 his plane was shot down over the sea near Gaza. Details were obtained off the Internet and ‘The Air Battle over Palestine’, Page 7. Casualty results found on  His name is on the Jerusalem Memorial Panel 10.

See entry for 25th July

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Flight Commander Owen Vincent Thomas R.W.F, R.F.C.

He joined the R.W.F. in October 1914. He transferred to R.F.C. in December 1915. He trained at Farnborough and he was sent with his squadron 32 to France, May 1916. Many of Owen Vincent’s air battles over the Somme are relived in an excellent book called ‘ Wings over the Somme’ by Wing Commander Gaily H. Lewis.

A page from 'Wings Over the Somme'

He returned to England in January 1917 with his Squadron which took over the defence of London. His brother in law later mentioned how they dropped hand grenades on to a Zeppelin air ship which caught fire.

For eight months he was fighting instructor to the Home Defence, North Weald, Essex. He was also an excellent artist and made pencil sketches of German War planes while he was stationed in France.

After the death of his two brothers in 1916 and 1917 the order was given that Captain Owen Vincent Thomas should not be sent overseas under any circumstances.

Unfortunately accidents cannot be ruled out. Captain Owen Vincent Thomas was night flying and in order to land they had to ignite a flare to see where the landing strip was situated. The flare shot back into the observer’s seat and caused a disastrous fire at 1000 feet. Captain Thomas was conscious for a few minutes after he was rescued from the flames and was able to tell the cause of the accident. After saying ‘I can never survive this’ he became unconscious and he died the following morning. It is a fact that his mother and sister were standing outside the door of the hotel where they were staying and recognised the sound of Owen’s aeroplane and witnessed the fatal accident.

Owen Thomas and his wife never got over the loss of their four sons. Their only daughter Mina married Gerald Allan a fellow officer in the same squadron. Their descendants live around Bandon, County Cork, Ireland


Other memorials to Owen Thomas’ sons

St Bridget Church, Skenfrith (Ynysgynwraidd,) Monmouthshire.

Leyton who died when he was sixteen was buried in the churchyard. Their grandmother, M Newton Jackson installed a memorial plaque on the wall inside the church to her four grandsons. Another memorial in the church is to Captain Owen Vincent Thomas, erected on the wall by one of his comrades after the battle of the Somme, 1916 Their names also appear on the local village war memorial. Also at Skenfrith is a small brass plaque to Robert Newton Thomas, ‘Oh for a glimpse of the grave where you are laid. Only to lay a flower at your head.’ Mother.

At St Alban’s Church, Coopersale, Epping, where Captain Owen Vincent Thomas is buried there is a large plaque on the bottom of the War Memorial cross. On either side of Owen Vincent’s grave on the kerbs are the names of his brothers.

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