I Thought Washi Bach Had Died In The Old Valley Hospital

by Tony Jones
(Bury Lancs)

Washi Bach - Our Tramp

Washi Bach - Our Tramp

Hi Wil

I thought Washi Bach had died in the old Valley hospital near Holyhead.

It used to be an old workhouse many years ago, just around the Washi Bach time.

There was another tramp who is believed to have come from ireland. He used to play a violin very well and play for a jar of tea and bread.

Warmest regards


Hi Tony

You might be right. The consensus is that he did die in a workhouse, which would probably be the only place that would take him in. What a terrible place to die.

The information I possess was received from a gentleman in Amlwch Port who knew a bit of the man's history. His relation saw the White Star Liner paybook. He seemed convinced that Washi Bach had died in the Conwy Hsopital, which was also a workhouse in its day, so I believe.

So Washi Bach remains an enigma then. Albeit a tragic enigma.

Two points about the Valley workhouse:

My Mum used to live in Trefor (near Bodedern) as a child and remembers the workhouse 'inmates' walking across the Holyhead Cob into town, as she passed by on the bus. She still remembers how cold they looked (spiritually, as it were) dressed in gray standard, poor uniforms and walking in a regimented two-by-two.

Mrs Catherine Roberts (Kate Roberts) used to keep the Trefor post office with her husband Bob and previous to that she had worked as a nurse in that workhouse and always shook her head and said,

"Lle ofnadwy." (A terrible place)

Diolch i ti, Tony

Nos da


Comments for I Thought Washi Bach Had Died In The Old Valley Hospital

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Jan 23, 2020
Thank you,
by: Anonymous

Thanks for your reply. I appreciate it.

Jan 21, 2020
Hospital Records
by: Anonymous


My simple advice would be to contact Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board in Bangor at Ysbyty Gwynedd.

I used to know the number off by heart because of health matters. Personally, I am glad that the number has now slipped from my memory. However, a quick check reminds me that it is 01248 384384 and ask for Records.

The dates you are looking for reach so far back to the days of paper records. The Health Board may retain a paper archive, although to be frank with you, I am worried whether they still hold them.

I wish you good luck

William Gerwyn

Jan 21, 2020
Medical records
by: SheilaC

My grandmother died in Valley Hospital in 1954. Can I access her medical records? I would like to know how long she was in there and any other info. She lived in Conwy most of her life.

Jun 23, 2017
Valley Hospital/ Workhouse
by: Wil from Anglesey Hidden Gem

Hi Sean,

Thank you very much indeed for writing in. I really did not know this tale. 'Wash Bach' a little wash. Now that's interesting.

Do you know if Washi visited the hospital or the old workhouse. Mam used to talk about the children from the workhouse walking to Holyhead on Saturdays in their grey smocks. Such a sad sight, she always told me.

I'm trying to find out where Washi died and much more. I was in contact with a Holyhead undertaker's office today and have been given a lead I will follow up on Monday.

I was told that Washi Bach died of tuberculosis TB in Stanley Hospital. That would be the old Hospital in Landsend, Holyhead not Penrhos Stanley.

More to follow and thank you so very much for this new piece of information.

Also, a friend, Mrs Kate Roberts of Trefor Post Office used to work in Valley Hospital and told me about the old workhouse there before. Mrs Roberts used to describe the place as awful. Mrs Roberts was a lovely lady, still is in my memories, and she has now gone to her reward and to be with her husband Bob.

Diolch, Mr Maguire.

Enjoy the weekend. It looks like we'll have to create our sunshine.


Jun 23, 2017
Valley Hospital/Workhouse
by: Sean Maguire

Hi Wil

My Mother worked as a Nurse in Valley in the 50s / 60s and mentioned once about how difficult it was to clean Washi-Bach each time he arrived, compulsory for all.

Requesting a Small Wash is how he got his nickname.
I don't think anyone knew his real name, where he died or even buried.

Surprising no one cares as he was talked about a lot in the area when he was alive.


Jun 03, 2015
Washi Bach - Valley or Stanley Hospital
by: Wil from Anglesey Hidden Gem


There's a poster on the wall in Penrhos Stanley Community Hospital in Holyhead which says that Washi Bach died there in the old Stanley Hospital, which used to be a workhouse like many of the older hospitals.

The Eryri Hospital in Caernarfon has the same provenance.

Diolch am sgwennu. Thanks for being in touch.


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