Thomas ’ public career as a reciter , orator , poet and narrator began early. He began preaching when he was eighteen years of age, at the request of Siloa , Maerdy . He attended Pentre secondary school , Rhondda , before moving on to Gwynfryn school , Ammanford . He won a scholarship for local boys from Maerdy tenable at the University College , Cardiff . He was accepted by examination into the Memorial College , Brecon . He was ordained in June 1896 at Bethel Newydd , Mynyddislwyn, Mon. It was there, tracing the church's history , that he took to historical research . This was to become one of his main interests in life. In 1899 he moved to Buckley, Flints. , as pastor of the English church , and whilst there he took advantage of the resources of St. Deiniol's Library , Hawarden . He played an active role in local government as a member of the county council and as chairman of Flintshire education committee . He was a member of the deputation which went before the Commission on the Disestablishment and Disendowment of the Church . In 1906 he moved and took charge of Markham Square church , Chelsea . There he co-operated with Lord Monkswell in promoting children's welfare . In 1912 he returned to Wales to take charge of the English church at Gnoll Road , Neath , where he stayed until his retirement in 1946 . On his retirement he was made honorary minister of the church.
He won many prizes in the national eisteddfod . He was secretary of the literary committee of the national eisteddfod at Neath , 1918 . He was a member of the Gorsedd of Bards and lectured widely on historical subjects . On the strength of his research and publications he was elected F.R.Hist.S. in 1919 . He published a number of books and booklets: Y Lili fach wen a thelynegion eraill ( 1903 ); Breezes from the Welsh hills and other poems ( 1906 ); Notable Welshmen ( 1908 ); Ebenezer Jones, the neglected poet … ( 1909 ); Ystorïau difyr … ( 1908 and 1909 ); Mynachdai Cymru … ( 1910 ); Welsh painters, engravers, sculptors (1527-1911) ( 1912 ); Difyrrwch gwŷr Morgannwg … ( 1916 ); Hiwmor y Cymro … ( 1922 ); A history of the Quakers in Wales and their emigration to North America ( 1925 ); and Seth Joshua and Frank Joshua … ( 1926 ). He was the editor of The Official Guide to Neath from 1922 to 1941 . He also published pamphlets in Welsh and English on the results of the Act of Uniformity, 1662 , and short histories of Maes-yr-haf church , Neath , and Bethel Newydd church , Mynyddislwyn .
He m. Margaret Williams who predeceased him by four years. They had four sons and one daughter. The eldest son, Alyn , d. before his father. He was the first secretary of the Consultative Council on Technical Education in south Wales . Kenneth was a bank manager in Croydon , Penry was headmaster of Basaleg grammar school , and Bryn was minister of the Congregational church in Muswell Hill , London .
He d. 2 May 1953 and was buried in the new cemetery, Llanilltud Fach, Glam.
Evan David Jones, F.S.A., (1903-87), Aberystwyth
Published date: 2001