Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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JONES , ROBERT LLOYD ( 1878 - 1959 ), schoolmaster, children's writer and dramatist ;

b. 7 Dec. 1878 in Porthmadog, Caerns. , the sixth of the ten children born to Robert Jones , master mariner , and his wife Elizabeth (née Williams ) . He was educated at the elementary schools in Porthmadog , Minffordd and Penrhyndeudraeth , the higher grade school, Blaenau Ffestiniog , the grammar school, Bala , and the Normal College , Bangor ( 1899-1901 ). He began his career as a teacher in his old school in Porthmadog and afterwards became headmaster of the elementary schools in Tremadog ( 1906-13 ), Trefor ( 1913-28 ) and Lloyd Street , Llandudno ( 1928-44 ). He took a keen interest in educational matters throughout his life and held a number of offices in the county branch of the National Union of Teachers . He was for a number of years a member of the governing body of John Bright School , Llandudno .

He began writing at a young age winning in many local eisteddfodau and as many as 13 prizes in the national eisteddfod . He is mainly remembered, however, as the author of the following adventure novels for children in Welsh: Ynys y trysor ( 1925 ); Plant y Fron ( 1926 ); Atgofion hen forwr ( 1926 ); Capten ( 1928 ); Mêt y Mona ( 1929 ); Dirgelwch y Cwm ( 1929 ); Ogof yr ysbïwyr ( 1933 ) and Ym Môr y De ( 1936 ). He learnt a great deal about life at sea from his father and spent much of his childhood on the busy Porthmadog quayside watching the ships and questioning the sailors . He read with zest the works of R.L. Stevenson , Ballantyne , Henty and others and all of this became raw material for his own novels later. He also contributed to Cymru'r Plant and to denominational publications such as Y Drysorfa and Y Goleuad . At the time his novels and stories filled a considerable gap in writing in Welsh for children. In addition he published 24 popular, short one-act plays in Welsh entitled: Y pymtheg mil , Y walet , Y census , Nos Sadwrn , Y doctor , Yr etifedd , Y basgedi , Dau ben blwydd , Wyt ti'n cofio? , Arian modryb , Y troseddwr , Anghofio , Brawd a chwaer , Croeso , Y drws agored , Gweinidog Tabor , Y gwir a'r golau , Pan oeddym fechgyn , Rhiannon , Safle , Y scwlmis , Santa Clôs a'i fab , Y tair chwaer , Teulu'r Gelli . It was he who was mainly responsible for forming the Drama Society of North Wales in Caernarfon in 1929 , which was to function as a branch of the Welsh Drama Union . He served several times as an adjudicator in the Urdd Gobaith Cymru national eisteddfod .

He was twice m.: (1) in 1906 to Elin Alice Jones , Minffordd (d. 1942 ), and three sons were born to them; (2) in 1944 to Sarah Roberts , Bethesda (d. 1962 ). He d. at Tre-garth 3 Feb. 1959 and was buried at Coetmor cemetery , Bethesda .

Sources:

  • Information given by his brothers, the late William and Goronwy Jones ;
  • Lleufer , 20 (1964) , 27-30;
  • [ Mairwen and Gwynn Jones , Dewiniaid Difyr llenorion plant Cymru hyd tua 1950 , Llandysul, 1983 (1983) ].

Author:

Arwyn Lloyd Hughes, Llandaf

Published date: 2001