Childhood – Some Frosty Farmers
Fathered Me to Fare
T. H. Jones’s mother, Ruth Teideman, was sixteen years old when she met her future husband, Llewelyn Morgan Jones, in Hannah Street, Porth, south Wales. She had been born on 25 May 1904, one of the sixteen children of Henry and Rhoda Teideman. Her father was a Cockney. His father had been a whaler, and his own life was even more colourful: he ran away from home to join Lord George Sanger’s Circus, where he doubled as lion-tamer and bare-fist boxer with a speciality in knocking out kangaroos. An intemperate life on the road ceased to appeal, however, when he met Rhoda Jones, a Welsh-speaking servant girl from a family of Rhondda Salvationists. The couple settled in Barry, where Henry traded in coal ‘in a small way’1 until the Depression put him out of business. According to family tradition, Henry Teideman preferred to avoid his Salvation Army duties and put his boxing skills to more militant use as a bodyguard for the miners’ leader, Arthur Cook.
Ruth, an early example of what Gwyn A. Williams referred to as the ‘maiden tribute’ went ‘out to the servants’ quarters of the English’2 in 1917, when she was thirteen years of age. She was employed at a Yorkshire boys’ school in Halifax, and it was on her first home holiday from this that she met her future husband. Llewelyn Morgan Jones was the sixth of the ten children of Thomas (1853–1950) and Mary (Mari) Jones (1855–1938) of Cwm Crogau, a 34-acre smallholding tenanted from the Venables Llewelyns of Llysdinam, Newbridge-on-Wye, on the Radnorshire/ Breconshire border. Thomas Jones ‘Crogau’ was a prodigious ‘character’: shepherd, rate-collector, deacon of his Baptist chapel, he is recorded on the census of 1871 as ‘scholar’. In his later years he taught reading and writing in his second language, English, at