Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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JONES , FRANCIS WYNN ( 1898 - 1970 ), statistician and writer ;

b. in Branas Lodge , Llandrillo, Mer. , 15 Jan. 1898 , second of 4 sons of Thomas Francis and Catherine (née Edwards ) Jones . He received his early education at Bala grammar school but went to London , aged 16, to work as a Post Office clerk before joining the army in 1916 . He was reported missing in March 1918 but was afterwards found to be a prisoner of war . He enrolled in the University College of Wales , Aberystwyth , in 1919 and graduated with first-class hons. in economics in 1923 . He served the National Savings Movement in north Wales before being appointed statistician in the Ministry of Labour in London . He remained there until his retirement in 1959 and during that period he represented the Ministry in conferences and meetings worldwide. He was a leading figure in Welsh religious and cultural life in London , a member of Council and a vice-president of the Hon. Soc. of Cymmrodorion . He was made an O.B.E. in 1959 . After retiring he was treasurer and vice-president of Urdd Gobaith Cymru , a member of the Court and Council of the Univ. Coll. of Wales and an elder in Seilo (CM) chapel , Aberystwyth .

Though he spent much of his life in London he lost none of his regard for Wales and her language. He remained faithful to Welsh culture and religion and never forgot his debt to his parents and his upbringing in Edeirnion . Small wonder that it was these interests that inspired his writing. In 1952 , while living in Watford , he completed a narrative portrayal of his youth in his home area, published as Godre'r Berwyn . After retiring to Aberystwyth he accepted an invitation to write a history of his church and his Canmlwydd Siloh Aberystwyth ( 1962 ) is regarded as an exemplary church history. Towards the end of the 1960s he had the privilege and opportunity to contribute to the official commemoration of his hero and friend — and also his father-in-law- T. Gwynn Jones (see below) , by researching and recording his vast published oeuvre . The intention was to publish a comprehensive bibliography but though he completed the task he died before its publication. Llyfryddiaeth Thomas Gwynn Jones was published by the University of Wales Press in 1989 . In his preface the editor, D. Hywel E. Roberts , refers to the notable contribution made by F. Wynn Jones to whom the volume is dedicated. He published a host of articles in periodicals such as Y Drysorfa , Y Ford Gron , Y Genhinen , as well as official publications relating to his statistical work.

At a troubled time in the story of the Welsh language he fought quietly for its equal status and voluntarily translated a number of forms and documents before there was a general call for them.

He m. in 1926 Eluned , dau. of T. Gwynn Jones and his wife and they had a son and dau. He d. in Aberystwyth 21 Dec. 1970 .


  • Personal knowledge.


Nia Hall Williams, Llandaf

Emrys Wynn Jones, Aberystwyth

Published date: 2001