Many memorials continue to be cleaned, prepared and restored and the programme of restoration continues unabated. The photographs below show a before and after of the grave of Albert Mervyn Parry who was buried in August 1915 aged just two months, who was the son of the then Principal of the Carmarthen Teacher Training College Albert William Parry, and his wife Catherine.
Albert senior was a unique individual who was first appointed Principal in 1909 and served in that capacity until 1949 – a remarkable 40 years.
Below is a photograph of Albert and Catherine taken in the garden of their home at Trinity University in 1934.
Both Albert and Catherine, together with their daughter Eirene are buried in the newer section of the cemetery, the wording is as follows.
Love is Eternal, Life Immortal
21st October 1928
Catherine Esther Parry
22nd October 1948
Albert William Parry
Principal Trinity College 1909 -1949
Dean of St David’s 1946 – 1950
St Davids Cemetery and Trinity St Davids University are inexorably linked through history, not least because of the large numbers of former teachers and members of the clergy buried there. Principal Parry had the misfortune to be in charge of the college during the outbreak of two world wars, he himself serving as Chaplain to the 4th Battalion Welch Regiment in the Great War. In an interesting insight to the role the University played during the Great War the following is an extract of a letter that Albert Parry wrote to the Carmarthen Journal in June 1915
Referring to the statement made in the Carmarthen Journal that none of the members of the Carmarthen Training College had enlisted, Principal A. W. Parry writes: (Carmarthen Journal 4th June 1915, page 3)
“SIR, I am sorry that it is possible for anyone at the present time to make a statement of so unfounded a character, and that under the veil of anonymity a letter should appear in the public press without the writer having first endeavoured to ascertain the truth of his assertions. May I, therefore, state that of the students who were in residence at the Carmarthen Training College during the session 1913-14 no less than 90 per cent are now members of his Majesty’s forces. In addition, every member of the teaching staff of the college, who is of military age, is also serving in the army. The writer of the letter refers to the extremely well-conducted “soldiers’ club.” apparently run by a committee of young men. He may be interested to learn that the chairman of the committee is the Principal of the Carmarthen Training College, who is also serving as the chaplain to the 4th Battalion Welsh Regiment. The other members of the committee are the Mayor of Carmarthen, the registrar of the Diocese of St. David’s, and Sir Owen Philipps (president of the club). I may be allowed to point out that a list of the ex-students of the Carmarthen Training College who are now serving with the colours is now in course of compilation, and that though this list is incomplete there are already nearly 200 names on it. The writer of the letter is also probably ignorant of the fact that at the present time Carmarthen Training College is housing students of St. Mark’s College, Chelsea. These students were at one time members of the 10th Middlesex Battalion. When that regiment- was sent abroad these young men were discharged from the army on medical grounds, and were sent by the Board of Education to complete their course of training at the Carmarthen Training College.”
It would be remiss of me at this juncture not to complete the picture of a great intellectual of his time without the following news article printed in 1919. Alfred Parry’s life was certainly an interesting one but tinged with great sadness through the deaths of his two children but as his epitaph reads…….. Love Is Eternal Life Immortal.
REVEREND A. W. PARRY MA, BSc, DSc
New Science Doctor -DISTINCTION FOR PRINCIPAL PARRY, CARMARTHEN. As already briefly announced in the Carmarthen Journal, the Rev. A. W. Parry, M.A., B.Sc., principal of the South Wales Training College, Carmarthen, has obtained the D.Sc. degree at the University of London. As evidence of the hard and diligent study which the winning of the distinction entails, he is the only clergyman in Wales to have brought off this signal achievement. The subjects of his thesis were “Nature, Origin, and Development of the Social Consciousness.” and “Education in England in the Middle Ages.” Principal Parry, who is a brilliant scholar, was educated at the University College, Aberystwyth, and is M.A. and B.Sc. of the Universities of London and Wales, his thesis for the M.A. degree being on “English Writers on Education from the Sixteenth to the Nineteenth Century.” He is honoursman in English language and literature, economics, and political science, and holds the Diploma in Pedagogy (University of London), and is examiner in the practice of teaching for the University of Cambridge Teachers’ Diploma. The new Doctor of Science, who is a native of Atherstone, Warwickshire, has been principal of the South Wales Training College, Carmarthen, for eleven years, being before that head of the Day Training College and professor of education at the University College, Exeter. He is a powerful preacher in popular demand in the Church, and is a member of the Representative Body and the Governing Body of the Church in Wales and a member of the St. David’s Diocesan Conference, being secretary of the social service committee, and is closely associated with other Church organisations. During the recent war the college was closed, as all the eligible students were on military service, and Principal Parry served as chaplain to the 4th Welsh Regiment. With only two exceptions, all members of the staff also served. The college re-opened on September 29th last, and there are 103 students, over 80 per cent of whom are ex- service men.
Carmarthen Journal & South Wales Weekly Advertiser 5th December 1919 page 1.
The above story was originally printed in the Thomas & Elizabeth Mayhook charity newsletter in January 2019. For the benefit of those who were not recipients of the newsletters, all previous stories will be published here in due course.