Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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REES , GEORGE ( GEORGE REES HEYCOCK ; 1873 - 1950 ), poet and hymnwriter ;

b. 20 Jan. 1873 at Dinas , Rhondda , (his parents hailed from Pontrhyd-y-fen and Pwll-y-glaw , Cwmafon, Glam. ). Soon after his birth his parents moved to Pen-y-graig and it was there that he attended the elementary school before starting work in a coalmine . He undertook a course of instruction intending to qualify as a colliery official . He was admitted to church membership at Nazareth (CM) , Williamstown , where his father was an elder . In 1900 he m. Kate Ann , dau. of Thomas Roberts , chief accountant at the Oakeley Slate Quarries , Blaenau Ffestiniog and for a time lived at Pont Rhondda , where he was elected an elder of his church. He moved to London to work in the milk trade . Here a milkman with the surname Maycock covered the same round and to avoid confusion George adopted his mother's surname Rees . Later on he moved to Abertillery in Gwent , where he was again chosen elder of a church. He returned to London to hold an important post with an insurance company . In 1941 he retired to Prestatyn . After the death of his wife in 1945 he went to live with his daughter and his son-in-law Prof. R.H. Evans , ( Leeds University ) at Headingley where he joined a Wesleyan church. He d. at Headingley 1 Sept. 1950 and was buried in Willesden Green cemetery , London , on 6 Sept . He won several prizes at national and other eisteddfodau : Pwllheli , 1925 , Swansea , 1926 , Treorchy , 1928 , Liverpool , 1929 , Port Talbot , 1930 . He was best known for his englynion and his hymns. His hymn ‘ O Fab y Dyn, Eneiniog Duw ’ is regarded as one of the greatest Welsh hymns.

Sources:

  • Trysorfa y Plant , Feb. 1938 ;
  • Yr Eurgrawn Wesleyaidd , Dolgellau ., 1934 ;
  • J. Thickens , Emynau a’u Hawduriaid , 1945 , 1961 ;
  • Y Goleuad , 6 Sept, 11, 25 Oct. 1950 ;
  • Seren Cymru , 21 Oct. 1973 .
  • The works of George Rees have been collected by Brynley F. Roberts , O! Fab y Dyn emynau a cherddi caeth George Rees , Caernarfon, 1976 (1976) .

Author:

Robert David Griffith, M.A., (1877-1958), Old Colwyn

Published date: 2001