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

Brigadier General Sir Owen Thomas

Sir Owen Thomas

Kt., M.P., D.L., J.P 1858-1923


With thanks to Mr Robert Thomas Williams, Neuadd

Early Years

Aged 18


Land Agent


At Brynddu




Boer War


1st World War

Member of Parliament

Died 1923

Union of Welsh Independents

Congratulations from local inhabitants

Owen Thomas- the early years

Born in Carrog, Llanbadrig – 1858

Son of Owen Thomas, Carrog & Ellen, d. of William Jones Roberts of Storehouse, Cemaes

One of four brothers and seven sisters.

Mrs Ellen Thomas

Symudodd y teulu i  Neuadd o Garrog tua 1867.Family moved to Neuadd from Carrog about 1867.

Owen Thomas took over tenancy with his mother following the death of his father, c1876.

Owen Thomas’ younger sister, Hannah’s descendents still live there.  

Neuadd, early 1900’s

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 Owen Thomas - aged 18

Established the Cemaes Life Saving Apparatus with other local farmers and businessmen.

He was appointed Chief Officer at age 18 and served until 1889.

The Brynddu-Plas Coch family had a strong influence on Owen and helped him develop Cemaes harbour as a tourist attraction.

Colonel Charles Hughes Hunter was commodore of Cemaes Regatta and Owen Thomas the Honourable Secretary.

In Cemaes Owen Thomas met his future wife when she came on holiday.

Capel Bethel, Cemaes. Late 1800’s

Deacon and Sunday School Teacher

Memorial to Sir Owen Thomas above pulpit


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Owen Thomas - Farmer, 1881

Won farming awards for:

Best Stocked Farm – Anglesey Agricultural Society (1881)

Best Fertilised Farm – Llanerchymedd Show (1882)

Neuadd Jumbo - It is believed that he was the first Anglesey Cattle breeder to compete in London and placed 2nd in the Royal Islington Show/Smithfield Show (1883)

Neuadd Jumbo weighed nearly a ton and a half.


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Owen Thomas- Land Agent

Became Land Agent to Brynddu-Plas Coch Estate and was in charge of the Northern Section from 1882 – 1898.

His Brother Huw Thomas of Carrog followed him as Land Agent of this area.

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Owen Thomas- Soldier

Lieut. Owen Thomas 1886

Joined 3rd (Militia) Battalion Manchester Regiment

Became a Lieutenant in 1886

Formed the only company in Anglesey of volunteers – the “K” Company, Cemaes Rifle Volunteer Force, a unit of the 2nd Volunteer Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers

Volunteers in camp at Valley

Rifle Range at Cemaes

Practice Rifle Range over Neuadd fields, the beach and onto the headlands.

Cemaes Volunteers won the Plas Newydd Challenge Cup in 1898 and the Counties Challenge Cup and Capt Owen Thomas himself won the Officer’s Cup.

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Owen Thomas- At Brynddu

Frederica Wilhelmina Skelton Pershouse

Owen Thomas married Frederica in August 1887 at Llanbadrig Church following her holiday visits to Cemaes.

She was the only daughter of Frederic Pershouse, a gentlemen of Bowden, Cheshire. Descended from an esteemed family of Pen Hall, Staffordshire.

Together, after a short stay at the Fron, Cemaes they were given a lease on Brynddu, Llanfechell with 94 acres of land for £100 per annum.

All of their five children were born at Brynddu.

In this period he became a member of Ebenezer Chapel, where his great grandfather had been a minister.

Brynddu, Llanfechell

 Col. Charles Hughes-Hunter

Col. Charles Hughes-Hunter must have been a great influence on the life of Owen Thomas.

His main interests were the Militia, Politics and the Mason

This lead to Owen Thomas founding the Cemaes Volunteers, his involvement with the Liberal party in Anglesey and the formation of St. Eilian’s branch of the Masons at Amlwch and the Odd Fellows at Llanfechell.

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Owen Thomas- Alderman

Anglesey County Council

At the formation of the first Anglesey County Council, Owen Thomas was chosen as the representative of his area.

He was on numerous committees and eventually became an alderman.

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Owen Thomas- Businessman

 Anglesey Trading Company

He expanded this company together with two shareholders, A.R. Barkworth and Capt H.R. Maxted to form Anglesey Trading Company Ltd.

They took over many small local businesses eventually employing up to 80 people. .

Among the buildings they built were houses,  a chapelhouse and the Gadlys Hotel, Cemaes Bay. l.

In the meantime, together with Lady Hughes-Hunter, Owen Thomas established the brickworks at Cemaes and the first load of bricks departed in the summer of 1899.

At the same time the Anglesey Trading Company was having financial difficulties and the company was eventually wound up. Owen Thomas had to hold an auction at Brynddu to raise money to meet the debts of the company.

The building of the Gadlys Hotel, Cemaes

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Owen Thomas -  1870- 1899

Owen Thomas, Wife and Children,1897


Life saving apparatus at Cemaes - 1876

Agent for Brynddu-Plas Coch Estate - 1882

Odd Fellows 1881

Masons 1885

Volunteers 1886

Anglesey County Council 1889

Anglesey Trading Company c1890


High Sherriff of Anglesey 1893

Justice of the Peace

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Owen Thomas and the Boer  War 1899-1902

Boer  War 1899-1902

By Special Proclamation the Cemaes Volunteer Force were called upon to join up with the military campaign of the Boer War in South Africa.

After the winding up of the Anglesey Trading Company, Capt. Owen Thomas, together with 25 other locals joined the campaign and left Brynddu along with his family.  

His leadership qualities quickly came to the fore and with Royal permission he formed the Prince of Wales Light Horse Regiment, consisting of 1,300 Horsemen.

After the war, his knowledge of South Africa leads him to get involved in the running and management of vast East African estates.

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Owen Thomas - 1905-1920

Owen Thomas’ Family 1906

Royal Commission on agriculture, and agricultural  depression.1905-1907.

Cecil Rhodes, Empire Builder.

Agricultural Prospects of Rhodesia.

East African Estates 600 sq.miles Managing Director, London Office.(Regent Street)

Bought Cestyll in 1909 to come back to Anglesey. Steam launch in Cemaes.  

Arbitrated in dispute between Lady Hughes Hunter and Cemaes Parish Council.

Recruiting soldiers for service in the 1st World War.

Lord Milner Mission to Egypt.1920

Admitted to the Gorsedd of Bards, Birkenhead 1917

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Owen Thomas-  1st World War

Llandudno, North Wales Brigade

Brig-Gen Owen Thomas was in charge of recruiting in Anglesey following the outbreak of the 1st World War.

He acted as chief recruiting officer for the county together with the Rev John Williams of Brynsiencyn.

It is claimed he recruited 4,000 (maybe an exaggeration)  from Anglesey

In 1915 at Llandudno, Lady Boston presented him with a service sword on behalf of the Anglesey Ladies Recruiting committee.

In 1917 he received a knighthood for his services.  

Lady Boston

Owen Thomas had four sons and one daughter.

Frederick died of natural causes aged 16 in Skenfrith, Monmouthshire.

Robert Newton Thomas, Killed in action in Gaza.

Mina Margaret Thomas married Gerald Allen in 1918 and had two sons, Robert and Patrick.

Owen Vincent Thomas B.A., Killed in a Flying Accident, Epping.

Trefor Thomas, Killed in Action at Neuve Chapelle

Llanfechell War Memorial

Sir Owen Thomas’ three sons killed in action are named on the memorial

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Owen Thomas- Member of Parliament

Following previous success and popularity representing the employers and workers of Anglesey he was asked by the Labour Party to be their chosen Parliamentary Candidate in the 1918 General Election.

¡Due to his recruiting duties during the war he had become a very well known figure in Anglesey.


General Election 1918

Sir Owen Thomas, Ind. Lab. 9,038

Ellis Jones Griffiths,Lib                        8,898

                                          Majority    140


     General Election 1922

Sir Owen Thomas, Ind.         11929

Sir R.J.Thomas, N.Lib.        10067

                                     Majority           1,862

Penbryn near Henley On Thames

As an MP, Sir Owen Thomas had his family home at Penbryn near Henley On Thames.

He lived here until his untimely death after recurring bouts of malaria in 1923, aged 64

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Owen Thomas- died 1923

 Ebenezer Cemetery, Llanfechell

Laid to rest with his parents and family March 1923 Ebenezer Cemetery, Llanfechell



Funeral procession from Neuadd

Included in the picture outside Neuadd are O T Evans and David Pretty’s grandfather and brother W J Pretty.  


Between Cemaes and Llanfechell

Ebenezer Cemetary, Llanfechell

 Ebenezer Cemetary, Llanfechell

Ebenezer Cemetary, Llanfechell

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Undeb yr Annibynwyr Cymreig

Throughout his life Owen Thomas was a staunch Welsh Congregationalist, a Deacon and Sunday School teacher at Bethel and later a Deacon at Ebenezer Chapel following his move to Brynddu.

He believed in Children’s Sunday Schools and was President of the Anglesey Branch of the Union of Welsh Congregationalists when they met for their annual meeting at Ebenezer, Llanfechell.

At the annual All-Wales conference held in 1893 at Holyhead he was president for the day and was invited to do the same at the next All-Wales meeting which came back to Anglesey in June 1923. The back cover of the programme was dedicated to the memory of Sir Owen Thomas following his death in March of that year .

 Union of Welsh Independents

Llangefni 1923 – Day Programme


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Congratulations from local inhabitants upon receiving a Knighthood from the King (1917).

Dear Sir

As inhabitants of your childhood district we feel glad to have an opportunity to congratulate you on the occasion of being given a knighthood from the King, because of your labour and your brilliant talents in public offices in the kingdom.

As local people we know full well of your personal excellence. You proved yourself since you were a boy to be kind and thoughtful. Lack of ambition was not apparent in you. Keen and observant acquaintances would enquire- How far will this boy go ?

Your common sense became apparent in your very early ability to understand people, your great ability to ‘steer’ people to the best purpose. Three indispensables of a benefactor are embodied in you, an eye to see a need, a heart to sympathise a need and an open pocket to help the needy. As local people we feel very proud of the honour bestowed on you and consider your promotion-elevation an elevation for us as well.

You were appointed very early in life a successor to your dear father as manager of Brynddu-Plas Coch estate. You fulfilled the difficult office with skill and great satisfaction for many years. You were a fair mediator between landlord and tenant without oppressing the weak or flattering the  strong for self-gain and praise.

When the county councils were first established you were the elected man for our locality, to represent us on this council. Likewise you soon came to prominence as a man who combined strength and gentleness. You were quickly chosen by the council to be a member of many small but important committees on account of your experience and thoughtfulness.

A Royal commission was established to look into land matters and the complaints of the country’s farmers. You were made an honorary member of this

You sat beside Lord Milner and others until a full report was brought out. You were also honoured by the office of High Sheriff of our native county.  You moved very effectively to shorten the working hours of the workers and to get them better housing and wages, at a time when great fortitude was demanded. By now you are able to have the pleasure of seeing that seed that you sowed yielding a bountiful harvest

You were at the forefront in the locality in the formation of the Military Volunteers, not unrenowned. Sincethen you have been diligent and successful in this direction.

You achieved a commission as a military officer in South Africa and when this terrible war broke out you were the only suitable man willing to take on the task of bringing together a Welsh Army. You succeeded in this undertaking through your own personal influence beyond the most confident of expectations. Not the smallest of your feats was the brave stand of late that you made for moral purity of your country and nation, and you came out of this campaign like gold purified through fire.  

Signed on behalf of the inhabitants of Cemaes and Llanfechell

W H Jones, ‘Bryngwyn’ Chairman,     Williams Roberts ‘Fron’, Treasurer

Ivor Jones Morris, Compton House, Secretary.

Reverends:-          J.S.Evans H.E.Jones, School House

 M. Jerman R. Williams,  Penllyn Shop

 W. Richards John Davies Bryn Babo

 Evans Jones H. P. Edwards, Awelfryn

                            T. O. Jones, Vigour

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Material collected and presented by Robert Thomas Williams, Neuadd and shown to Llanfechell Historical Society   (Nov 2007) by Robert Thomas Williams, Neuadd

“Rhyfelwr Mon” – David A Pretty

“Life in Pictures of Brig.-Gen. Sir OWEN THOMAS Kt., M.P., D.L., J.P.”

Mr. Robin Grove-White – Brynddu

Photos, newspaper cuttings collected by family from Neuadd.

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Click on all photographs to see larger versions


Union of Welsh Independents