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William Thomas (1832-1903)
1903 Obituary 
WILLIAM THOMAS died at his residence, Brynawel, Aberdare, on March 8, 1903, at the age of seventy-one. He was a self-made man, having commenced life at the very lowest rung of the ladder. He was born at Merthyr in 1832, and received his education at the National Schools. In 1840 he started to work underground as a collier boy.
In 1873 he left Cwmaman Colliery and undertook the management of the Resolven and Pentre Collieries, and at the same time started business as consulting engineer at Brynawel. He subsequently accepted the position of general manager of the Maerdy Collieries in the Rhondda Fach; the Glyn and Collena Colliery, the International Collieries, Penrhiwceiber Collieries, and others in the Swansea valleys being also placed under his superintendence.
In 1888 he was elected a member of the Joint Committee of the Sliding Scale Agreement, and continued to hold a seat on that committee until a few years ago, when he resigned, and although he was subsequently elected to sit on the increased committee of twenty-four who are engaged in carrying out the present negotiation for a new agreement, he declined to accept the position. He always evinced considerable interest in educational matters, and was for some years a member of the Aberdare Local Board. In 1887 he was made a Justice of the Peace for Glamorgan.
He was elected a member of the Iron and Steel Institute in 1878.