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Ernest William Gould

(1878 - 1955)

Ernest William Gould was the eldest son of John and Harriet Gould and was born on 25th October 1878 at Kingsbrompton, Somerset.

He was admitted to Kingsbrompton National School on 9th May 1882 Ernest and his brother George, were withdrawn from the school on 15 May 1885, eventually returning six months later on 19 November 1885. A precise reason for withdrawal has yet to be established, helping on the land would not have been an adequate reason and would have resulted in a fine. More likely is that George, Ernest and perhaps their father were out of the area for six months.

Ernest William was just a few days short of his 9th birthday when the family of John Gould moved to Pontypridd. On the 10th of October 1887 he and his brother George Henry were admitted to Coedpenmaen Boy's School in Pontypridd. Their address at that time was given as "Snelling's Houses". Three years later on 13th of August 1890 he left school. At the age of 12, he worked as a "Fishmonger's Assistant", according to the 1891 Census. Later he was to work at Abercynon Colliery.

In the late 1890's Ernest William had a serious accident to his foot. The foot was crushed and several operations were carried out, one of which involved an operation to the sole to try to remove powdered bone. He was to wear a surgical boot from that point onwards.

In 1900 or thereabouts it appears that Ernest William and some friends went from Cardiff (or Penarth) to Weston-Super-Mare aboard one of the pleasure steamers that were regularly doing the crossing at that time. He met his wife-to-be Henrietta on the pier at Weston. She, at that time, was working for or helping an aunt in Weston who had a small business. Further meetings took place and the result was that they married in Bridgwater on 4th August 1902.

The 1901 census shows that Ernest was living at 21, Mountain Ash Road, Abercynon with eldest sister Rosa Maria and her husband Charles Gregory. Also at the same address were Ernest's father John Gould and brother George Henry. Ernest's younger sister Lilian and Rosa's eldest son William were also listed. (At this time Ernest's mother Harriet and three youngest sisters are known to have been living at an address in Canton, Cardiff).

The 1901 census incorrectly records the ages (by as much as 17 years) and birth places of most of of the family at 21 Mountain Ash Road. A conclusive reason for this discrepancy has yet to be identified.

Ernest and Henrietta both had the same address on their marriage certificate so it is possible that Ernest William lodged with Henrietta's parents (Hill) while working at a local brick or cement works.

Ernest William Jr. was born in 1905 (in Bridgwater) and within the next year or two the new family of Ernest William Gould Snr. moved back to Abercynon.

During the next 15 years a further five children were born:





Ernest William Jr January 1905 Bridgwater, Somerset


George Henry June 1909 76, Park Street, Abercynon St Donats, Abercynon 4/7/1909
Albert John May 1912 20, Jenkins Street, Abercynon St Donats, Abercynon 7/9/1915
Lily Beatrice August 1914 20, Jenkins Street, Abercynon St Donats, Abercynon 7/9/1915
Leonard Verdun February 1917 20, Jenkins Street, Abercynon -
Stella August 1920 20, Jenkins Street, Abercynon -


Little is known of the years that followed until the marriages of George Henry to Helen (Nell) in 1930, Lily Beatrice to Peter in 1932, Ernest William Jr. to Rosina (Rose) in 1933, Albert John to Millicent Olive (1939) Leonard Verdun to Annie (Nancy) in 1940 and Stella to George in 1941.

Ernest William Snr's occupation during these years was Haulier Below Ground at Abercynon Colliery and this is how he was described on the birth certificate of eldest daughter Lily Beatrice in 1914. Soon afterwards this was to change to Ostler, caring for pit ponies below ground. During the 1921 strike he cared for his ponies at a local farm while they enjoyed a brief respite from their working lives below ground. His occupation was still shown to be Colliery Ostler on the marriage certificate of Ernest William Jr and Rosina in 1933.

The damaged leg was always troublesome and by 1933 it was deemed necessary to partially amputate in order to save the rest of the leg. The result of this is that he was never to work at the colliery again.

During the Second World War Ernest William worked at the Royal Ordnance Factory in Bridgwater (11 December 1941 - 13 March 1944) as a Patrolman, then a Labourer and finally as a Shift Room Attendant whilst living at Rhode Lane with his son Ernest William Jr and daughter-in-law Rosina (Rose).

Ernest William Snr. and Henrietta continued to live at 20, Jenkin Street, Abercynon. Henrietta suffered a stroke around 1950 and was cared for by Ernest William Snr. until his death of a heart attack on the 5th of December 1955. The collapse and death occurred in a barber's shop in Abercynon and the topic of discussion in the shop that day was a boxing match due to take place that week involving local boxer Dai Dower. The Aberdare Leader newspaper on 10/12/1955 carried this short report of the death of Ernest William Gould Snr:


Seventy-seven-year old Mr. Ernest Gould, Jenkin Street, Abercynon, collapsed and died in the hairdressing salon of Mr. Baden Adams, Margaret Street, Abercynon on Monday afternoon.


The same front page of the Aberdare Leader also carried the news that Dower had retained his British Empire Flyweight (?)Title.

Henrietta died in Bridgwater in 1963. Both are buried in plot 3401 at Abercynon Cemetery.