Twenty four years after the birth of their first child, Evan III and Catherine Moses welcomed another new arrival up at Hendre Rhys Farm. Born on August 11th 1854 (“Awst 10th” – Family Bible), the boy was named Thomas, but he would nearly always be called Twm. Remember his parents were now aged 57 and 44 respectively, which you have to admit is quite impressive; indeed young Twm was born an uncle as he already had two nephews older than him! Thomas was the last child Catherine would give birth to, and he was Christened on the 29th of October 1854. Unlike his four brothers who either headed over to Cwm Rhondda to dig for coal or emigrated to the U.S, Twm would remain at the farm to help his, by then, elderly parents with it’s running. Twm gets several mentions in the private diaries of the Williams family of Y Glog, which was the much larger farm next door to Hendre Rhys. The diaries were deposited in the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth, and provide us with some fascinating little snapshots of life on Twyn-y-Glog around this time. “26th January 1888 – Tom Moses and William cutting timber for Penywal” and “28th January 1888 – At home walked down to Ty bach and back to Tom Moses’” are two such entries. The last entry on the 10th of August, states “Mowing Saith erw (7 acres). Tom Hendre Rhys“. It was around this that Twm, together with his widowed sister Mary, had to reluctantly leave the farm and make the short move down into Ynysybwl. Another diary entry for “7th May 1888” confirms this by referring to “Mary late of Hendre Rhys“. Hendre Rhys’ acreage and remoteness meant that brother and sister were no longer able to cope. Bachelor Twm belatedly became a coalminer, whilst Mary became his housekeeper as they settled into their new urban life in the growing pit village of Ynysybwl.
However Twm would soon experience the dangers associated with this career change; I quote from the book “Ynysybwl-in the footsteps of Glanffrwdd” by D.J. Rees – “Although it was claimed that there was no gas in that level there was an occasion when Tom Moses was blown out of a dram by a minor unexplainable explosion.” The level he was referring to was the Darren-Du level off New Road. Another incident at this location in 1897, would turn modest Twm into a “Silent Hero“, when he led a rescue party back underground to save the lives of his nephew and another man. (For a full account see the chapter on Mary’s son Gwilym I.) Twm remained a “Colliery hewer underground” until, some time after the 1911 census, the physical demands of the job forced him to end his working life as an “Urban Council roadman“. Despite being described as a “Scholar” in the census of 1861, Twm remained an illiterate Welsh only speaker to the end; outliving his sister Mary by 19 years. He passed away on April 6th 1929 aged 74 from senile decay at 34 Crawshay Street Ynysybwl, where he was living with his niece and her family. Fittingly he was laid to rest with his sister in Ynysybwl Cemetery, with the inscription on their headstone reading – “Hefyd am ei brawd” which translates as “Here in this place beside her brother”.