William Thomas (Eos Wenallt) – 1908

A member of the old school of Welsh vocalists was laid to rest on Thursday at Aberdare Cemetery in the person of the late Mr. W. Thomas (Eos Wenallt), Aberdare. There was a large gathering, a notable feature of which was the united choir that sang some favourite Welsh dirges en route to the cemetery under the direction of Eos Dar, a life-long friend of the departed, and Mr. E. J. Clement. Other musicians present: Messrs. Rees Evans, W. J. Evans, H. Howells, T. Glyndwr Richards, J. Lake, Dan Jones, D. Phillips, Gwynalaw, W. Gwynne, J. H. Howells (Ap Hywel Cynon), W. H. Webb, Alf Evans. The procession was marshalled by Mr. G. V. Jones, another old musical friend assisted by Mr. J. B. Evans. At the graveside the Rev. D. Silyn Evans, Siloa, paid an eloquent and glowing tribute to the deceased as a willing religious worker, a sweet vocalist, and a personal friend. Mr. Evans also directed a touching and fervid appeal to the three sons to emulate their father. The Rev. S. Williams, Penrhiwceiber, offered prayer, and the Rev. J. Tudor, B.A., Soar, also took part.

The mourners were: Handel, Haydn, and Willie Thomas (sons), Messrs Henry Thomas, Daniel Thomas, John Thomas, Tom Thomas, and Gomer Thomas, brothers; Prof. A. M. James, Cardiff: J. Gwendraeth Williams, David James, Tom James, James James, David Thomas, Evan Evans, Evan Davies, brothers-in-law; Sgt Lewis, J. Evans (Bridgend), W. Thomas (Treherbert), A. Beasley (Neath), Henry John (Llanelly), W, Davies (Abernant), Henry Mort (Neath), J. Beasley (Merthyr), D. T. Davies (Aberaman), H. Davies (Llwydcoed), Dilwyn Thomas and T.J. Thomas, Abernant; T. Harris, Clydach Vale; J. Job and T. Williams, Mountain Ash.

1st coach: Mrs. Handel Thomas, Miss Yearsley, Runcorn; Mrs. DI. Thomas, Penrhiwceiber; Mrs. Henry Thomas, Neath; Mrs. Tom Thomas, Senghenydd; Mrs. Gomer Thomas, Senghenydd.

2nd coach: Mrs. M. A. Williams, Aberdare, Mrs. D. James, Mrs. E. Evans, Mrs. Tom James, Mrs. A. N. James,

Cardiff. 3rd coach: Mrs. John James, Bristol; Mrs. James James, Aberdare; Mrs. Catherine Thomas, Bridgend; Misses Gwladys Thomas and Maggie Thomas, Penrhiwceiber.

4th coach: Misses Jessie and Ethel James, Misses Miriam, Edith, and Alice Evans.

5th coach: Mrs. Harris, Clydach Vale; Mrs. Beasley, Neath; Mrs. Harris, Mountain Ash; Mrs. Davies, Abernant; Mrs. Davies, Aberaman.

6th coach: Mrs. Williams, Mountain Ash; Mrs. Mort Neath; Mrs. Beasley, Merthyr; Mrs. Beasley, Neath; Mrs Thomas, Mountain Ash; Mrs. Williams, Llanybyther. Dr. Scale, deceased’s medical attendant, attended in his carriage.

Beautiful wreaths had been sent as follows: Spray of violets and snow-drops, from Lily grand-child; wreaths, Mr. and Mrs. Handel Thomas; the family, and Mrs. Bailiff, Bridgend. The bearers were: Messrs. W. Eddy, Supt. of the Wesleyan and General Assurance Cc.; J R. Williams, Assist. Supt.; and D. T. Davies, W. Frame, W. Thomas, and D. J. Clemo, agents. Supt. J. W. Boulter and Assist. Supt. Pinegar, from Merthyr, and Agent Qzem Cook, Aberdare were also present. Deceased had been an agent of this society in the Neath Division for upwards of 18 years. The coffin was plain oak with massive brass fittings, and the funeral was furnished throughout by Messrs. Williams and Sons, High Street, Aberdare.

One of the many trophies captured by the late Eos Wenallt was the prize for the solo tenor, “The enemy said,” at Cardiff National Eisteddfod in 1883, out of 46 contestants. From the published transactions of that Eisteddfod we learn that Sir Joseph Barnby in giving his adjudication said that never in the whole course of his experience had he heard so many fine, tenor singers brought into so small a compass or come from so small a district. Out of the 500 voices that yearly came within his province to tram he was bound to say that he should not be able to find 30 as good as the 30 he had listened to that morning. He was a Yorkshireman, and as such knew what fine voices were. He was now a little shaky in the belief that the Yorkshire voices were the finest in England, and he did not say it with the same confidence as he did a week ago. The tenors he had heard, considering their number, were the finest he had ever listened to in his life. The adjudicators had decided to award the first prize to Mr. William Thomas, of Aberdare.