An enquiry from Wales and a Welsh headmistress at Peppard

During January, Peppard News received an enquiry from Richard Huws. He is writing about the notable parishioners of Elerch / Bont-goch, Ceredigion. He asked if the Revd John Rees was buried at All Saints’ Church. Partly as a result of the answer to that question, he has written the following biographical note.

John Rees (1838 – 1924)

Curate and vicar of Elerch, 1869-1883, who lived at Plas Cefn Gwyn and Elerch Vicarage.

John Rees was born on 13 April 1838 at Tynywaun, Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire, the son of Morgan Thomas Rees, a farmer, and his wife Mary (née Davies). He was educated at St. David’s College, Lampeter, graduating BA in 1866.  Ordained in 1866, he served as a curate in Llanelli and Cardigan before his appointment as curate of Elerch on 22 December 1869, and subsequently promoted to vicar in 1870. According to the 1871 census he and his wife Augusta Brudenell Rees (née Morris) and daughter Mary were living at Plas Cefn Gwyn. Rees was the first vicar to live at the new Vicarage completed in 1875, and by 1881 his family had expanded to include six children.

John Rees was present when the new church at neighbouring Penrhyn-coch was consecrated in June 1881, and he was invited to read the first lesson. He served as vicar of Llanafan Fawr, Llanfihangel Brynpabuan and Llanafan Fechan in Breconshire between 1883 and 1893, prior to his appointment as the rector of Letterston and Llanfair Nant-y-gof, Pembrokeshire, from 1893 until his retirement in 1919.

John Rees died aged 86 years at his home *Llwyn Ceirios, Rotherfield Peppard, on 5 October 1924, and was buried on 8 October. His wife predeceased him on 13 April 1922 and was buried on 17 April. Both were laid to rest at All Saints’ Church, Rotherfield Peppard, and are commemorated with a gravestone noting that Augusta was the daughter of the Revd Ebenezer Morris (1790-1867) of Llanelli – a colourful character and notorious scourge of the local nonconformists.

It seems likely that, after their retirement, the Revd and Mrs Rees moved to Peppard to be near one of their eventual eight children, Rose Hastings Rees (1883 – 1969). Rose Rees became headmistress of Peppard School in 1922, teaching until her retirement, aged 60, in September 1943. Rose Rees lived in the schoolhouse adjoining the school. Miss Rees, as her pupils will have known her, must have retired to Worthing where she died on 10 May 1969, aged 86. Her ashes were interred at Worthing Crematorium.

*Does any reader know the whereabouts of a house called Llwyn Ceirios?

Richard Huws wishes to acknowledge the kind help of Bob Newnham, Sylvia Seymour, and Keith and Sandra Atkinson in responding to his enquiry and in providing photographs.