Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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DAVIES , GEORGE MAITLAND LLOYD ( 1880 - 1949 ), Calvinistic Methodist minister and apostle of peace ;

b. 30 Apr. 1880 , in Peel Rd. , Sefton Park , Liverpool , son of John and Gwen Davies . He was christened G.M. Temple Davies ; he himself was responsible for changing his name. One of his brothers was John Glyn Davies (see below) . His father was a tea-merchant , whose roots were in Cardiganshire and Llŷn , his mother was a daughter of John Jones , Talysarn ( DWB , 478-9) . He was educated at Liverpool and entered the Bank of Liverpool at an early age. In 1908 he was appointed manager of the branch in Wrexham , where later he took a commission in the Royal Welch Fusiliers (territorials) . He gave up his work in 1913 in order to become the secretary of the Welsh Town Planning and Housing Trust and about this time he resigned his commission; at the end of the year he took up full-time work, without pay, with the Fellowship of Reconciliation . On 5 Feb. 1916 at Finchley he married Leslie Eleanor Royde-Smith , sister of the novelist Naomi Royde-Smith ; one child, Jane Hedd , was born to them. As a conscientious objector he was imprisoned more than once during the years 1917-19 . In 1923 he was elected to Parliament , as a Christian Pacifist candidate , for the University of Wales ; and as an unofficial envoy he carried out important work in the cause of peace -in arbitrating between David Lloyd George (see LLOYD GEORGE , David below) and Eamonn de Valera , for example. He was not returned in the following election and in 1926 he was ordained a minister in the Pres. Church of Wales . He was pastor of the churches at Tywyn and Maethlon from 1926 to 1930 . He then responded to the appeal for help from the distressed areas of south Wales and spent the following years working among the unemployed in Monmouthshire and Glamorganshire , and in 1932 he moved to the Quaker Settlement at Maes-yr-Haf in the Rhondda . He retired to Dolwyddelan in 1946 and though his health was deteriorating he continued to preach and to address meetings . He died in tragic circumstances 16 Dec. 1949 and was buried at Dolwyddelan . He was a great and most unusual personality; a handsome man and an enchanting character. His circle of close friends included both the aristocracy and the poor of many nations. He consecrated his life to the ideals in which he believed so intensely — reconciliation between nation and nation and between person and person. He wrote a great deal to Welsh and English periodicals and newspapers . He published an account of his mission in Pererindod Heddwch , and of his family in Atgofion Talysarn . In 1950 a selection of his writings was published entitled A Pilgrimage of Peace .

Sources:

  • Y Goleuad , 11 Jan. 1950 ;
  • Y Faner , 21, 28 Dec. 1949 ;
  • Pilgrimage of Peace , London, 1950 (memoir by Dr. C. E. Raven );
  • NLW J. Glyn Davies Papers;
  • personal knowledge;
  • [ E. H. Griffiths , Heddychwr Mawr Cymru , Caernarfon, 1967-1968 , 2 vols. (1967-8) ].

Author:

Rev. John Ellis Meredith, (1905-81), Aberystwyth

Published date: 2001