Mostyn Thomas, musician with a connection to Wales (Gwent)

Mostyn Thomas

Powerful baritone. Operatic singer. Born in 1896, the youngest of three children. He went to work underground in the colliery when he was thirteen. His mother was a widowed caretaker of Berea Church in Blaina. His amazing voice was discovered at Ammanford Eisteddfod. He sang in the local Cwmcelyn, Blaina choir. Local community at Blaina collected money for him to be trained at La Scala Milan. Then he sang leading baritone roles all over the world but settled in America and married a wealthy American widow. The family were expecting him to marry the contralto singer Olive Gilbert. Local community were disappointed that he did not return to Wales to live. He settled in California in a house next door to film star Jane Russell. He did visit Wales several times. He attended my mother's funeral and also returned to Blaina for the funeral of his sister Olwen. Mostyn Thomas was interviewed and sang on the first ever broadcast from BBC Wales in 1923. He retired in 1947.
Connection: Born in Blaina, Gwent, to Welsh parents.

comment by:Mostynmeg
I have two small polly-photos of him and a cassette of Mostyn singing a few songs and giving a few interviews. Would be interested to hear if anyone has any photos, newspaper cuttings, photos of Mostyn Thomas. His original name was, I think, Tom Thomas, but there was already a singer of that name so he took the name Mostyn. We called him 'Uncle Mostyn' but I don't know the exact relationship. He visited our home in South Wales during the war and offered to take my sister and myself back with him to America for safety.

comment by:Mostynmeg
Thanks for the posting of Mostyn Thomas. I have since found details in my 1939 scrapbook about an evening spent at Berea Congregational Church schoolroom in Blaina where a large gathering welcomed M.T. and his wife. My grandfather, who had lived in the other cottage, gave a speech of welcome. M.T. said how thrilled he was to be back in the room which was once his home and to meet so many old friends. He recalled the happy times he had spent in the church, singing in the choir and also the texts of sermons given there by some of the great preachers, e.g. Elfed, Rev Penry Evans. Thanks.

comment by:Mostynmeg
Your proposed posting of Mostyn Thomas on the famouswelsh website is a true comment. I look forward to seeing his name in the list of musicians. (bingo, Ed :-)

comment by:Mostynmeg
Pleased to see the posting on Mostyn Thomas. It is a true and accurate summary of his life.

comment by:gwenllian
Mostyn Thomas had a beautiful voice he left to go to America, he was a house hold word. We were very proud of him.

comment by:ojoj2100
Mostyn Thomas is supposed to be my late grandma's cousin but as there are no Thomas surnames in our family, we're assuming the relationship was through his mother, Ann Jones. Both my ggg gp's were named Jones and so was someone who married into the family. Does anyone know the ancestry of his mother? I have one picture dated 1948, of Mostyn in costume, plus his wedding announcement.

comment by:beccalukerac
Mostyn Thomas was my mothers cousin (or second cousin I think). Her maiden name was Lloyd before becoming a Johnson. I believe that the link came from her mother's side.

comment by:ojoj2100
Do you have any details of your Lloyd family? Is there a Mary or Sarah Jones (Ann's sisters), or a Thomas Thomas sister (names unknown), or a Hannah Letitia (MT's sister)?

comment by:beccalukerac
If ojoj2100 wants any more information about Mostyn Thomas. Can you reply through this site please? Thanks

comment by:rlindau
Mostyn Thomas shared the stage with Aroldo Lindi for many years. They were the best of friends and visited our home many times in the thirties and forties. Lindi was my uncle and I have many photos of Mostyn and chronology of his career with the San Carlo Opera Co. Also a few personal anecdotes. If you are interested, I would be more than happy to share them with you. Best regards, richard lindau

comment by:ojoj2100
Hi, Richard: I've now discovered my kinship to Mostyn-via my great great grandmother, Rachel Jones, whose younger brother, James, was the father of Ann Jones, Mostyn's mother. Rachel, who married George Smith, was the mother of my gm's father, David, my great great grandfather tried to contact you through message pad. Thanks for your offer to share info. Will ask this site to send you my address. Ojoj2100

comment by:maxwall
Hello i am trying to find information about Mostyn Thomas as my farther knew him and has asked me if I can find anything out but I'v had no luck, please can anyone help. Thanks!

comment by:Townsends
Mostyn (then Thomas) Thomas used to help my grandfather, Elisha Morgan, with deliveries for the Co-Op in Blaina before the First World War. This would be around 1906-1908. My grandfather drove the horse and cart; Mostyn was the "delivery boy". They used to deliver all around Blaina. Mostyn used to sing whilst they trundled around the town according to the family stories told to me.

comment by:pianoman
I am distantly related to Mostyn Thomas and I remember as a young girl my great uncle telling me about his nephew (Mostyn) and showing me photos of him in his operatic roles including Othello.

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