Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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MORGAN , TREFOR RICHARD ( 1914 - 1970 ), company director ;

b. 28 Jan. 1914 at Tonyrefail, Glam. fifth child of Samuel and Edith (née Richards ) Morgan . The father's family came from Peterston-super-Ely and the mother's from Llantwit Fardre . The father, a mason , died in the flu epidemic which swept the country in 1918 . The mother struggled to raise the children in great poverty. Both sides of the family were committed Baptists , their forebears being among those who established the cause in Croes-y-Parc , Peterston-super-Ely , and a great-grandfather ministered in the Baptist chapel in Penuel , Pentyrch . His sole education was at the local school, and completely non- Welsh as was usual at that time. In later life he tried to correct his lack of education through evening classes in Welsh and Welsh history. He could not take advantage of the grammar school place he won at Cowbridge because the family was in such dire straits. He left school at 14 to work in the local mine in spite of precarious health, but because of the depression in coal-mining districts he had a variety of jobs in the following years.

He was always a fervent nationalist . His search for work led him to Pembrokeshire , where his nationalism was confirmed by his close friendship with D.J. Williams ( 1885 - 1970 ; see below) and his wife in Fishguard . In World War II he was a conscientious objector on nationalist grounds . In 1943 he married Gwyneth , daughter of Arthur and Mary (née Daniel ) Evans of Aberdare , and they had four children.

He was a parliamentary candidate for Plaid Cymru in Ogmore in 1945 and in 1946 , for Abertillery in 1955 , and for Brecon and Radnor in 1966 ; and he stood as an independent nationalist in Merthyr Tydfil in 1950 . According to an obituary in Y Faner he was one of the most effective speakers in Plaid Cymru ; he dealt with critical issues with eloquence and conviction and could argue for nationalism with the best. But he was concerned that concentrating his efforts on elections, local or national, was not enough, and he sought to turn the principles he preached into practice. His basic tenet was the intrinsic value of the Welsh language and the need to create independent Welsh institutions. This is why he established an insurance and finance company with the aim of using any profit for two purposes; establishing small local industries and promoting the creation of Welsh schools throughout Wales . Cwmni Undeb began in Aberdare and succeeded in establishing a small trading estate in Hirwaun . In 1963 he founded Cronfa Glyndwr yr Ysgolion Cymreig , of which he was the first president . Its aim was to give financial help to parents and schools to enable children to attend Welsh schools set up by the parents themselves. The most important aspect of the trust was creating and maintaining nursery schools . Because of the reluctance of local authorities to offer secondary education in Welsh he founded a Welsh residential school in which every subject was taught through the medium of Welsh . Ysgol Glyndwr was opened in Bryntirion , Laleston near Bridgend , in Sept. 1968 , but it came to an end soon after his death in Bridgend Hospital , 3 Jan. 1970 . He was buried in Trane cemetery , Tonyrefail , 9 Jan .

Sources:

  • Personal knowledge.

Author:

Mrs Gwyneth Morgan, (1916-98), Tonyrefail

Published date: 2001