Dictionary of Welsh Biography

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

REES , THOMAS JAMES ( 1875 - 1957 ), director of education ;

b. 19 Mar. 1875 , son of James and Mary Rees , Waun-wen , Swansea, Glam. He was a graduate ( B.A. ) of the University of London ( 1898 ) and, despite his lack of experience as a headmaster , was appointed from among 112 applicants director of education in Swansea in 1908 , a post which he filled with distinction until he retired in 1943 . In national education he became well known as a member of the advisory and consultative committees of the Board of Education . With his wide knowledge, he became a popular and eloquent speaker on educational problems , and was one of the best known figures in Welsh education as honorary secretary of the Federation of Education Committees in Wales and Monmouthshire . He was connected with numerous organisations, being a member of the Central Council for School Broadcasting , the council of the University of Wales , the Welsh National Council of Music , and the Welsh National School of Medicine . He was a J.P. and served as treasurer of the University College at Swansea . He was one of the founder members of Swansea Rotary Club , having been president of Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland , 1942-44 . In 1943 he was appointed C.B.E. Among his published work is an address on The appointment of head teachers ( 1911 ) and reports on The teaching of Welsh in elementary schools ( 1914 ) and The education problem in Swansea ( 1918 ).

He m., 1902 , Katie Davies , Gowerton , and they had two daughters. He d., 24 Dec. 1957 , at his daughter's home, Brynfield , Reynoldston .


  • Who was who? ;
  • The Cambrian , 18 Sept. 1908 ;
  • Yr Herald Cymraeg (a'r Genedl) , 9 Jan. 1943 and 4 Jan. 1958 .


Dr Mary Auronwy James, Aberystwyth

Published date: 2001