Victorian Powys for primary  schools
Powys Digital History Project
Victorian school life
  The death of a school pupil  

This entry was written in the school Log Book of Ynscedwyn School in April 1879. The head teacher who wrote this does not tell us how young Thomas Williams died, but he calls the sad loss of this child 'a gap made by the Reaper'.

22nd April

This sad little entry in the book says:
"Received the news of the death of one of my scholars - Thomas Williams of College Row - The first gap made by the Reaper, since I opened school".

To 'reap' was an old-fashioned way of saying to cut or harvest wheat or other farm crops with a sickle or scythe. These were cutting tools with a wooden handle and a sharp edged curved blade.
The 'Reaper' here refers to a very old man, or even a skeleton, in a white hooded gown carrying a scythe, which is a storybook way of describing death, usually as the 'Grim Reaper'.

Back to Ystradgynlais schools menu


Grim Reaper
Who are you calling Grim ?
Link to sources
Back to top
Go to Ystradgynlais menu