Peter Coleman was born on 23 May 1837, in Shoreditch in London. He married Jane Mathews in July, 1863 in Newport, Monmouthshire.
Jane was born in 1843 in Merthyr Tydfil, Glamorgan.
Peter was the first Station Master at Brynmenyn Station and he died in Station House, Brynmenyn, on 22 November 1923, aged 86. His grandson, A.G.E Williams, is noted as the informant on the Death Certificate. His death was also listed in the Western Mail on Saturday 24 November 1923.
The 1881 Census for Station House ( also called Fairfield House) Brynmenyn, shows the family as:-
Head – Peter Coleman aged 43, Stationmaster
Wife Jane Coleman (nee Mathews) aged 38.
W.G.P.Coleman aged 16 E.J.Coleman aged 15 A.H.Coleman aged 13
Beatrice J.Coleman aged 9 A.E.Coleman aged 7 F.C.Coleman aged 5
Ellen E.Coleman aged 1
Maria Coleman and Fred Jones were married at Camden Town, London, on 22 June 1887. Alf Jones and Charlotte Coleman (David Jones’ Great Grandparents) were married at Stratford, London, on 23 September 1894.
Fred and Maria Jones had a son, John Peter Jones, who was killed on the Somme in 1918. He was wounded several times and had spells in field hospitals. Having enlisted in the Welsh Regiment at Cowbridge in 1914, he died in 1918 with just five weeks of the war remaining. His Regiment suffered very heavy losses at one stage and other survivors were transferred to the Sherwood Foresters, a normal procedure at that time. His name appears on the Vis-en-Artois Memorial on the Arras to Cambrai Road.
Alf Jones and his wife, Charlotte, had two sons and a daughter. Both sons were killed in a pitfall in an unofficial mine during the depression of 1926. Their names were Herbert Jones (aged 26) and Cyril Jones (aged 19). Their deaths were huge news at the time and the Gazette carried details of the accident. Charlotte was popular in Pantygog and was known as “Mrs Jones Cockney”.
Both couples made their homes in Pantygog after they were married. Maria and Fred in 30 Pant Street, there were members of the Jones family living in this house for 94 years. Alf and Charlotte lived in 8 Cuckoo Street, and their descendants lived here for 70 years.
Alf and Fred Jones’ parents were John and Sarah. They had 11 children and the family moved to Glengarw Cottages, Abergarw (now demolished) in about 1876.The entire family moving on to Pont-y-rhyl and Pantygog. John died on 31 December 1919, having been a Platelayer on the railway for 45 years. His obituary appeared in the Glamorgan Gazette of January 1920.
:The 1901 Census for Station House shows;-
Peter Coleman (Head) aged 63
Wife, Jane Coleman aged 58
Emma E.Jonesa aged 21 Gustavus W.R.Coleman aged 19
Sarah O.Jones aged 1
(Note the differences in some of the initials of the names of the children – obviously either an Enumerator’s error or a transcription error)
Also in the 1901 Census, Edwin Alfred Coleman is shown as living at 5, Thurston Street, Tondu with his wife, Esther(nee Gibbs) as a Railway Engine Stoker. They had a daughter, Doris aged 2.
Edwin Alfred Coleman was the son of Edwin Coleman (Senior), above, and the nephew of Peter Coleman. He also worked on the railways as an Engine Cleaner. Edwin Senior was only 32 when he died, thus leaving Edwin Junior as a fatherless 5 year old. Edwin Senior (E.J.Coleman above) had previously been invalided out of the Royal Navy prior to working on the railways. The above picture was thought to have been taken at either Maesteg or Tondu.
Edwin James Coleman (E.J.above) appears in the 1881 Census as a Railway Worker. In 1891 he is shown as a Goods Guard. In 1901 he appears as a Foreman, Railway Yard, then living at 6, Brown’s Terrace Ogmore Vale. He and his wife, Beatrice, had two children, and he died in 1934. At the time, they had two English lodgers, who were porters, living with them. They were George Locke from Exeter and Archibald Tamlett from Tilshead,Wiltshire.
Arthur Henry Coleman (A.H.Coleman above) emigrated to Buenos Airies in Argentina (date not known but likely to have been during 1886 or 1887) and worked for the Great Southern Railway, designing station buildings and he also wrote a book on Trains. There is an article in the Western Mail, dated 9 December 1952 (the year in which he died) which describes “The Welshman of Bahia Blanca”. According to the 1895 Census of Argentina, he is described as living at the Main Railway Station in Bahia Blanca, where he was the Night Station Master. His old house ‘Casa Coleman’ is presently used as a museum in his honour for recitals, exhibitions and champagne receptions for visiting dignitaries. He was given a State funeral which was attended by the great and good, and there is a further cutting from a local paper in Bahia Blanca showing the glass sided hearse drawn by 6 horses. A remarkable progression from January 1882, when he started out as a Junior clerk at Brynmenyn Station.
His younger brother, Gustavus, also went to Argentina. Note his initials GWR (Gustavus Wilmot Rufus) – apt, considering his Father’s allegiance to the railway ! The picture below shows them both and was taken in Buenos Aires.
Herbert Jones (the brother of Alf and Fred Jones) and his wife, Gwenllian, used to keep the Braich-y-Cymer Pub in Pont-yr-hyl for many years, and also bought 25 Bryn Cottages, Pont-y-rhyl – in 1914, where the family descendants still live.
www.railwaysofthefarsouth.co.uk which gives a fascinating insight in to Arthur Coleman’s railway exploits in Argentina.
Addtional photos sent by the author appear below: