Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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DAVIES , DAVID THOMAS ( 1876 - 1962 ), dramatist ;

b. 24 Aug. 1876 at Nant-y-moel , Llandyfodwg, Glam. , son of Thomas Davies and his wife Martha (née Thomas ) . He was educated at Gelli , Ystrad , Rhondda valley , and Thomas James's school , Llandysul, Cards. His father intended him for the ministry, but after graduating at the University College of Wales , Aberystwyth , in 1903 , he became a teacher in the Central Foundation School , London . He served with the Royal Welsh Fusiliers in France during World War I , and in 1919 he was appointed an inspector of schools under the Ministry of Education and moved to live in Pontypridd . He retired in 1936 and moved to Porthcawl . He moved yet again to Swansea in 1954 where he d. 7 July 1962 . He was buried in Glyntaf cemetery , Pontypridd . He m. Jane Davies at Trealaw , 29 July 1909 and they had one daughter.

D.T. Davies gained prominence as one of the Welsh social dramatists of the first half of the 20th c. He came into contact with John Oswald Francis (see below) while he was a student at Aberystwyth , and he had an opportunity to get to know contemporary English plays when he was a teacher in London . Ibsen 's plays were popular in the London theatres and they provided a pattern for D.T. Davies and the new generation of Welsh dramatists like Robert Griffith Berry (see above) , J.O. Francis and William John Gruffydd (see below) . He wrote a number of full-length plays and many short plays : among his most important works are Ble ma fa? ( 1913 ), Ephraim Harris ( 1914 ), Y Pwyllgor ( 1920 ), Castell Martin ( 1920 ) and Pelenni Pitar ( 1925 ). He broke fresh ground with these plays by presenting a faithful portrayal and an honest evaluation of life. His works were very much in vogue during the 1920s when the Welsh drama movement was at its zenith in the valleys of south Wales and when drama companies and drama festivals were being established in the chapels and workers' institutes.

Sources:

  • Menna Davies , ‘Traddodiad llenyddol y Rhondda’, University of Wales Ph.D. thesis (Aberystwyth, 1981 ), 259-82;
  • R.M. Jones , Llenyddiaeth Gymraeg 1902-1936 , Swansea, 1987 ( 1987 ), 529-32;
  • information from his daughter, Sara Anne Davies ;
  • see also David Jenkins (ed.), Erthyglau ac ysgrifau llenyddol Kate Roberts , Swansea, 1978 ( 1978 ), 148-50;
  • [ Menna Davies in Hywel T. Edwards , ed., Cwm Rhondda , 1995 (1995) , 254-75].

Author:

Dr Huw Walters, F.S.A., Aberystwyth

Published date: 2001