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William Henry Pegington.

Many thanks to Chris Pegington for permission to use this extract from his family history. William Henry was Chris’ Grand-father.

William bought Hill Farm and lived there between approx 1928 and 1937.

"Although he worked as a lad in the coal mines, William Henry Pegington studied to be a butcher. At the time of his marriage to Agnes Ann, he gave his occupation as Butcher. By 1923 he certainly had the Butcher’s shop in Hanbury Road Abersychan and in the Directory for 1923, he is listed as such. He later however bought the Hill Farm, Glascoed and he seems to have moved there with his family. You will see further down the page, a photo taken at the Hill Farm around 1929 showing him with his children Cyril (with Kate his wife), Clifford, Ivy and William, together with Edward Vivian and an unknown woman. He probably bought the farm around 1928. The 1929 Register of Electors records those eligible to vote at Hill Farm as being William Henry, Agnes Ann and Clifford Pegington.

By 1931 William was responsible for the Land Tax payment. The farm was valued for Land tax purposes at £52, with the tax being £1.1.8. Since the total Income from the farm for Income Tax purposes did not exceed £160 for the year ended 5 April 1929, he only had to pay ½ the tax - i.e. 10s 10d! By 1934, when William Edward his son got married, he is described just as a farmer in the Directory and his son Cyril had taken over the butcher’s shop in Hanbury Road. The Land Tax situation remained unchanged from 1931 - 36 and he is also listed as a farmer in Kelly’s Directory for 1937, when he would have been 62, although William Edward Pegington is listed in the Land Tax Records as occupier and responsible for the tax for the Hill Farm from 1937-42. William Henry had moved out and his address was given as Woodfield Road, New Inn, Pontypool in 1937.

My father Bill Pegington as he was known was living at the Hill Farm in 1934 when he married Beatrice Doris Vivena EDWARDS on the 8th November. The marriage took place at Ebenezer Baptist Chapel, Griffithstown. He gave his occupation as farmer.  While at the Hill Farm their first son, Robert William was born in 1937.

Second World War

At the outbreak of World War II, they were still at the Hill Farm and “Beat”, Bill’s wife used to tell the story of the underground shelter in the garden, where they sought refuge during an air-raid warning on the Royal Ordinance Factory, Glascoed, which the farm overlooked. They had rushed down to safety in their night-clothes, but didn’t stay long, because a big four inch slug started climbing up her leg. They never went down there again! On another occasion (on the 31st October 1940 according to official records) she claimed that the blast from a bomb dropped on the nearby ROF blew her from the doorway across the room. The German pilot later reported back to Germany that he had bombed Bristol, 40 miles away and was even given a medal for it! The Battle of Britain Campaign Diary records: - "The Royal Ordnance Factory at Glascoed was attacked by a single enemy aircraft at 1250 hours. The attacking aircraft dropped 12 bombs, three of which are still unexploded and then proceeded to machine-gun the factory from a height not greater than 200 feet. The roof of the building was damaged and whilst the unexploded bomb is being removed there will be a slight interference with production." 

They also remembered vividly the day a German fighter strafed the workers as they were leaving the factory canteen, but nobody was hurt on that occasion. Life was very busy for Bill and his wife and they had workers from the factory billeted by the War Office with them, meaning that Beatrice was often feeding up to 16 people a day! Farming was however a reserved occupation and farmers were exempted from the general mobilization of the population, because of the desperate need for food.

The family used to make a little swimming pool by damming the Bertha Brook at the bottom of the farm.

Here is the family:

The photograph (and description) is once again used with thanks due to Chris Pegington.

Back Row: left to right: Cliff Pegington, Ivy Pegington, Kate & Cyril Pegington, Unknown, Bill Pegington

Front row: Right to left;  Edward Vivian, William Henry Pegington, Agnes Anne (Nanny) Pegington (I am not absolutely sure of Edward Vivian and William Henry Pegington).


Register of Electors:

1929 – at Hill Farm, Glascoed.