Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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DAVIES , TOM EIRUG (‘ Eirug ’; 1892 - 1951 ), Congl. minister, writer and poet ;

b. at Troed-y-rhiw , a farm in Gwernogle, Carms. , 23 Feb. 1892 , only son of John and Mary Davies . He worked on the farm until he was 18 years old, when he was encouraged to preach . He was educated at Gwernogle elementary school , Tremle preparatory school , Pencader , 1910-12 , the University College and Bala-Bangor College (Congl.) in Bangor 1912-19 . He graduated B.A. (honours philosophy) and B.D. The principal , Thomas Rees , referred to him as one of his brightest students. He gained an M.A. degree in 1931 for a thesis on the contribution of Gwilym Hiraethog ( William Rees , 1802 - 1883 , DWB , 831-2) to the life and literature of his period.

He became minister of the churches at Cwmllynfell , 1919-26 , and Soar , Lampeter with Bethel , Parc-y-rhos , 1926-51 . He held classes under the auspices of the department of extramural studies of the University of Wales and many came to his home (particularly in Cwmllynfell ) to prepare themselves for the ministry. He was a preacher and poet of very special talent-he won the crown twice-at the national eisteddfod in Aberafan , 1932 , and Neath , 1934 , and various other prizes (see the preface, ‘Diolchiadau’, to Cerddi Eirug ). He adjudicated many times in the national eisteddfod , and was known as ‘ Eirug ’ in the Gorsedd of Bards.

He edited Ffrwythau Dethol ( Ben Davies , Pant-teg ) and Cofiant Thomas Rees (a biography of his old principal at Bala-Bangor ). He also published a history of the church in New Testament times ( 1932 ), and a history of his two churches, Soar ( 1931 ) and Bethel ( 1940 ), and of Gwernogle ( 1949 ). He contributed articles to Y Geiriadur Beiblaidd ( 1926 ), and chapters on Philip Pugh and his predecessors in Y Cofiadur , 1937 , and on the faith of the Congregationalists in Ffyrdd a Ffydd ( 1945 ). He edited Y Dysgedydd 1943-51 , and his contributions showed him to be an astute thinker and writer on a range of topics. For a period his notes concerned ‘ Gwernogau ’ — his old area in Carms. These were collected under the title Yr Hen Gwm ( 1966 ), edited by one of his sons, Alun Eirug Davies . His poems were published posthumously in Cerddi Eirug ( 1966 ).

He m. in 1920 Jennie Thomas (a fellow-student at Bangor ), the eldest daughter of R.H. Thomas , (Presb.) minister , Llansannan , and they had eight children. Both he and his wife had a long struggle with ill health in middle age. She d. in 1948 , and he d. 27 Sept. 1951 .

Sources:

  • Personal knowledge and the sources cited.

Author:

Reverend Gerallt Jones (1907-84), Caerwedros, New Quay

Published date: 2001