Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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WILLIAMS , ROBERT JOHN ( PRYSOR ; 1891 - 1967 ), collier and actor ,

Born 13 Apr. 1891 at Trawsfynydd, Mer. His father, Ellis , was a carpenter and d. young; his mother, Eliza , daughter of ‘ Eos Prysor ’, raised him and his sister with the scant assistance of the Board of Guardians . He was educated at Trawsfynydd British School but he left when he was ten yrs. old to earn his living as a farm-worker . When his mother re-m. the family moved to the coalmining valleys in the South, first to Abertridwr , where he began working underground in Senghennydd colliery , and subsequently in Abergorci pit , Treorchy .

He was interested in music and drama and through his own exertions he became a precentor , an organist in the chapel (and local cinema , too, when he was short of money), and a prominent member of the opera company and drama company . At the Treorchy national eisteddfod in 1928 he met two people who were to influence his life greatly, namely Daniel Haydn Davies , who became a producer of school programmes for the B.B.C. , and also one who became a lifelong friend, namely David Moses Jones , a collier and actor like himself. In 1936 Thomas Rowland Hughes , the novelist and producer , invited both of them to take part in a radio play , and for the next 30 yrs. Prysor Williams 's voice was among the most familiar on Welsh radio and television. He appeared also on stage , including performances in the Abbey in Dublin ( Birds of a feather by J.O. Francis ) and in the Globe , London ( Rhondda roundabout by Jack Jones ). He took part in five films ; the best-known was Blue scar by Jill Craigie .

He m. in 1917 Margaret Mary Walters and they had two daughters. He d. 13 Oct. 1967 at Treherbert and his remains were cremated at Glyn-taff .


  • Personal acquaintance and information from his daughter Betty Edwards , and Wyn Thomas, Cardiff .


Lorraine Davies, Cardiff

Published date: 2001