Grave 220a


This extra information was supplied by Mr Stannard, who is related to William Selwood who was his Mothers Grandfarther. Mr Stannard can be contacted on 01633 865873.

The Selwood Tree

I would like to add more to the Llanspyddid website of our family connection with the village, which goes back to the 19th Century.

Our Great-grandfather, William Selwood, is buried in the churchyard in Grave 220 and considering how old the headstone is, it is in very good condition.  However there is a spelling error with the surname.  It is inscribed on the headstone with a double LL instead of one, which I put down to how they wrote so elaborately with pen and ink ie. SelWood.  We can now say he was born an Englishman but died a Welshman?  William  Selwood was born in Upavon, Wiltshire in 1834.  We know that his mother’s name was Maria.  At 17 yrs old he lodged at no. 17 Upavon, the census tells us his occupation being a shepherd.  When at 20 yrs old he enlisted into the army at Portsmouth in 1854 with the then 23rd Regiment of Foot later being the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, RWF, Army Number 4592.  A few months later he was sent to the Crimea with the 1st Battalion until the war ended.  Not long after that they were then diverted on route to China to take part in the Indian Mutiny.  He remained there for 12 yrs. Towards the end of his career he was in barracks around the Aldershot area.  On discharge in November 1875, after almost 22yrs service, he eventually settled in Llanspyddid.  The 1881 census shows he lived at No. 2 Llanspyddid with his wife Sarah, who came from Aberafon, their son William Henry born in Aldershot and their 2 daughters, Hannah Maria born in Glamorganshire and Sarah born in Llanspyddid.  He becam a prison warden at Brecon Prison.  We’re not sure for how long, however the photograph  shows he could have worked until his retirement.  The 1891 census shows they were then living at No. 6 Newgate Street with one more child, my Mother’s Father, Walter.  Towards the end of his life he was a Sexton of the Church.  There were 2 tragic events when he was 67 yrs old.  With in 4 months he lost his two eldest children.  Hannah Maria was killed, we are not sure how but we believe by stampeding horses and then William Henry was killed in Merthyr at the Zulu water works when a trench he was working in collapsed, he died a few days later.  Wm Selwood passed away in 1905 and his wife died 2 yrs after. A Sad end to a great life.

He was survived by two children, Sarah and my Mother’s Father Walter.  Sarah emigrated to America either before or after his death and they eventually settled in Canada.  Our family were surprised when an old neighbour of my Grandmother, who was living with us at the time, telephoned us to say that an advert was seen in the local paper in Swansea (1989) looking for family named Selwood.  We now know that it was the daughter and family of Sarah Selwood.  We are happy to say that we still keep in touch with our relatives in Canada and my cousin, Barbara Bergman, has visited us and has seen where Wm Selwood had lived.  Barbara has told us contact was los between Sarah and her brother, my Grandfather Walter Selwood, during WW1.  They thought he was killed.  However he survived after seeing service with 24th batt The Welsh Regt (Glamorganshire Yemanry) attached to the LTMB (Light Trench Mortar Battery).  They were living in Llangyfelach, Swansea.  We are so please that the village has now a WWW. And our family connections are not only around the local areas but also as far away as Canada where my cousin Barbara Bergman sends her best regards to everyone in the village.



Brecon County Times                            11 August 1905



            There died at Brecon on Thursday morning in last week a veteran of the Crimean Campaign and Indian Mutiny in the person of Wm. Selwood, who for many years had resided at Newgate Street.  Selwood, who was 71 years of age, was a native of Whiltshire, and took the Queen’s Shilling in November 1854, at Portsmouth, receiving in exchange the uniform of a private of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers.  A couple of months’ training at Winchester was enough in the view of the authorities to fit him for the rigours of  a winter campaign in the Crimea, and in February of the following year he was in the trenches before Sevastopol.  Here he did his part with his comrades, sharing the hardships, the escapes and the semi-starvation of that great siege.  He was a unit in the forces flung against the Redan, the storming of which was attended with frightful carnage, and did not return to England till the end of the campaign.  He received the Crimean medal with a bar for Sevastopol and the Crimean Turkish medal.  On May 20th he embarked with his regiment to China, but after passing Singapore they were ordered to India to assist in quelling the vast conflagration which arose in our great dependency.  Landing at Fort William he marched up country, his battalion forming part of Sir Colin Campbell’s gallant force.  He took part in the second relief of Lucknow by General Havelock, and was present at the retaking of Cawnpore, and participated in many of the minor engagements which stamped out the embers of the great mutiny..  He did not leave India for home till 12 years had elapsed, and then bore on his breast the Mutiny medal with two clasps “Relief of Lucknow” and “Lucknow”.  The remainder of his service of 21 years was uneventful, and he was eventually discharged at the Curragh with a pension of 1/- per day; and the medal for long service and good conduct which carried with it a bounty of £5.  The remainder of his life was spent for the most part in Brecon, where he earned the reputation of a well respected, steady and hard-working man.  For some years he was Sexton of Llanspyddid , where eleven of his children lie buried.  His eldest son was killed at the “Zulu” (Merthyr) Waterworks.
            His widow, a son and a daughter survive him.