Dictionary of Welsh Biography



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DAVIES , DAVID of Llandinam ( 1880 - 1944 ), first BARON DAVIES (created 1932) ; b. 11 May 1880 , only son of Edward Davies and Mary , dau. of Evan Jones , a Calvinistic Methodist minister who was closely related to John Jones of Talysarn ( 1796 - 1857 ; DWB , 478-9) . He was the grandson of David Davies ( 1818 - 1890 ; DWB , 116) , the Welsh industrialist of the Victorian period, whose energy and enterprise he inherited. Educated at King's College , Cambridge , he entered the House of Commons at 26 years of age as Liberal member for Montgomeryshire , resigning his seat in 1929 . In World War I , he raised and commanded the 14th Battalion , the Royal Welsh Fusiliers , at home and in France until 1916 , when he was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to David Lloyd George .

His name will be inseparably connected with his two main public interests-the Welsh campaign against tuberculosis and the international crusade for world peace . In 1911 , together with his sisters, the Misses Gwendoline E. and Margaret S. Davies of Gregynog Hall , (see below) he founded the King Edward VII Welsh National Memorial Association which, under his direction, developed into a nation-wide scheme with many sanatoria and hospitals. The Llandinam family also endowed the University Chair of Tuberculosis at the Welsh National School of Medicine . From 1919 David Davies was equally tireless in the pursuit of international peace , carrying on the tradition of the Welsh pioneers Richard Price , Robert Owen , and Henry Richard . A founder of the League of Nations Union , he later gained prominence as the foremost advocate of strengthening the League of Nations by the creation of an International Police Force . In 1932 he established the New Commonwealth Society for ‘the promotion of international law and order’ , writing several books on the right use of force, notably The Problem of the Twentieth Century ( 1930 ). In Nov. 1938 , one of his ambitions was realised in the completion of the Temple of Peace and Health in Cathays Park , Cardiff .

For many years he was president of the University College at Aberystwyth and amongst his numerous benefactions was the endowment of the Wilson chair of International Politics , the first chair of its kind in Great Britain . He was also president and a generous patron of the National Library of Wales .

Though he had a wide range of industrial and commercial activities, essentially he was a countryman keenly interested in sport and at Llandinam he maintained foxhounds . He was an ardent supporter of the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society .

He was twice married. His first wife, who d. in 1918 , was Amy , dau. of L.T. Penman of Broadwood Park , Lanchester ; they had one son and one daughter. In 1922 he married Henrietta Margaret ( Rita ) , dau. of James Grant Fergusson , of Baledmund , Scotland (d. 1948 ); they had two sons and two daughters.

Lord Davies d. 16 June 1944 . In Sept. of the same year, his heir, Major DAVID DAVIES ( 1915 - 1944 ) of the Royal Welch Fusiliers , second Baron Davies of Llandinam (b. 16 Jan. 1915 ), was killed on the Western Front . He m. Ruth Eldrydd , dau. of Major William Marshall Dugdale and his wife, of Llanfyllin , in 1939 . They had 2 sons.

Bibliography:

  • Personal information;
  • Who was who? , 1941-50 .

Author:

Rev. Gwilym Davies, C.B.E., M.A., Ll.D., (1880-1955), Aberystwyth