Luther Stephens: Lloffwr Arall

Luther Stephens was born in 1888 in Llanelli. His father was a Brewery Dray man.

Luther became a student teacher and got a job as an assistant teacher at Blaengarw Boys School and took lodgings  at Victoria St, Pontycymer.

At the outbreak of WW1 he was the regular Garw Correspondent for the ‘Glamorgan Gazette’. Under the pen name Lloffwr Arall, he had his own column called ‘Garw Gleanings’ which gave out news and humorous local gossip. These items provoked many a comment up and down the valley as everyone tried to guess, if they didn’t know already, who the miscreants were! During the 1914-18 war he also recorded the losses of the men from the Garw.

Here are some of the more light-hearted ‘Gleanings’; perhaps they relate to a member of your family?

 Terror at the Cinema?

A realistic moving picture of lions that was shown at the Hippodrome the other evening gave one young lady in the audience such a terrible fright that she clasped the young man next to her in a tight embrace.

The Germans Have Arrived!

A young man had such a fright at three o’clock in the morning that he was heard to shout loudly, “The Germans have arrived.” What happened was that the legs of his bedstead had given way and he was left in the middle of the room with the bed having turned turtle.

Our Brave Police Sentry.

It is freely stated that that one of the police men on sentry duty near a powder house in a local colliery had an exciting experience the other evening. He heard a noise and after challenging three times, “Who goes there?” with no reply, but still hearing the movement, the police sentry fired his gun. On examination he found his dead alien was a SHEEP.

Blaengarw Whistling Competition.

The winner of the whistling competition in Blaengarw was awarded a packet of birdseed.

Increased Ticket Sales.

There has been considerable increase  in the sale of 1d. platform tickets in Pontycymer. Most of them being bought by young men. Is this due to the new young lady selling the tickets?

Husband Wanted.

Who is the lady who emigrated to the Garw Valley tin search of a husband? If it is true she comes from a neighbourhood where there are a number of eligible bachelors.  She must be hard to satisfy!

A Disappointing Ending.

 We sympathise with the local shop assistant who wore his new overcoat and hat to visit a local performance in order to sit near a certain young lady and was absolutely refused permission to escort her home.

Prohibition For The Garw.

A local gent said he was in favour of total prohibition.Of course he was fully justified in having the courage of his conviction but why was he carrying a a bottle of beer under his coat?

The Longest Day.

A young scholar of the Garw upon being told by  her father on Monday  was the longest day of the year replied, “I thought we were a long time in school today”.

4 comments Add yours
  1. I have read Garw Gleanings whilst trawling through the Gazette for family history information. I had not realised that Luther Stephens had written them. Luther was a cousin of my paternal grandmother who came to Blaengarw from Llansamlet. Her paternal grandmother who came from Llanelli rural was Luther’s aunt. Luther’s wife Catherine Thomas was a cousin of my maternal grandfather, a native of the Garw.

  2. Further to my previous comment. On Sunday 12th April 2015 I was pleased to hear Mr Huw Edwards introducing Caniadaeth y Cysegr on Radio Cymru. Firstly it was from Salem Capel Y Bedyddwyr in Llangennech. This is where a number of my ancestors are buried and they include those of my cousin Luther Stephens. Also mentioned was Blaengarw but I did not understand enough of what was said. Is anyone able to let me know of Mr Edwards’ connections with the Garw please?

  3. Gerald has kindly sent me some information about Luther’s service with the 13th Royal Welsh Fusiliers during WW1. He was awarded the D.C.M. Luther was known to another cousin of mine Arthur Williams a teacher from Ogmore Vale who died of wound received at Mametz Wood whilst in the 13th RWF.

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