History and Heritage

Royal Humane Society Certificate

In 1905, the Royal Humane Society presented a certificate to a local Ystalyfera lad, Emlyn Price, whose quick-thinking and bravery had allowed him to save the life of another lad when the latter fell into the canal. The certificate was the first of its kind to be issued to anyone in the Ystalyfera district, and the presentation ceremony took place at Soar Chapel in mid February 1905.

From The Cambrian newspaper, 24th February 1905:-


At Soar Chapel, Ystalyfera, on Monday evening a large audience assembled, when a certificate from the Royal Humane Society was presented to Master Emlyn Price, son of the late Mr John Price, Brodawel, Ystalyfera, for having performed a gallant deed. Amongst those present at 7.30 were Messrs J W Jones, BA, James Williams, C C F R White (who made the (presentation), and D L Moses Evans, Rev W Jones presided. When the young lad entered the building with Mrs T R White the applause was great. A short programme had been prepared with the help of Mr J W Jones, BA, and Miss Alice Williams, and consisted of a recitation, Miss Bessie Williams; chorus, the girls; solo, Miss Jennie Jenkins; recitation, Master Sidney Griffiths; chorus, "The Better Land," the girls; recitation, Master Geraldus Jones; solo, "Japanese Love Song," Miss Lottie Davies; recitation, Master Johnny Jeffreys; solo, Miss Lydia Nicholas; recitation, Master Elvet Jones.

The Chairman praised Emlyn for his brave act in rescuing Master Marshal Stonehouse from certain death by drowning, and called upon Mr T R White to make the presentation.

Mr White was much moved when he went to the pulpit, for the rescued lad was his grandson. He expressed much sorrow for the subsequent death of the lad's parents (and at this Ernlyn wept), but poured continual praise on him for his brave deed. He then read the contents of the certificate, and afterwards presented it to the boy. The latter made a bow, and amidst thundering applause left the pulpit.

Mr Daniel Evans presented Emlyn, his brother Rufus, and his sister Esther May with a Bible each. Mr Evans said that the young children had attended school well, and that, owing to their departure for Brynamman, this presentation was being made to them on behalf of the Soar Sunday School.

Mr J Walter Jones, BA, explained how the accident occurred. It seems that the rescued lad, Marshal, and his rescuer, Emlyn, were playing near a stream of water, flowing with great velocity into the canal. Marshal fell into the water, and Emlyn, showing great presence of mind, instead of leaping into the water, ran a little way down the bank, and leaping on a log, way which traversed the stream, caught the almost drowning boy as he was passing underneath. His presence of mind and bravery are worthy of much praise. Mr Jones proposed a hearty vote of thanks to the chairman, and said a word in favour of the energetic action of Mr and Mrs White in procuring a certificate, which, by the way, is the first one to come to Ystalyfera.

Mr D L Moses Evans seconded the vote of thanks, at the same time extending his heartfelt thanks on behalf of the guardians of the three children to Mr and Mrs White.

With three cheers to Master Emlyn Price the meeting closed.