Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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WILLIAMS , DAVID MATTHEW (‘ Ieuan Griffiths ’; 1900 - 1970 ), scientist, dramatist and inspector of schools ;

b. 3 May 1900 in Cellan, Cards. , son of John Williams and Ann (née Griffiths ) , and younger brother of Griffith John Williams (see below) . He left Cellan elementary school for Tregaron County School in 1911 . In the Higher Certificate examination in 1918 he obtained the highest marks of all candidates in Wales in chemistry, for which his school was awarded special recognition. From Tregaron he proceeded to the University College of Wales and graduated B.Sc. with first-class honours in chemistry in 1921 . After three years research work at Aberystwyth he became in 1924 the first student in the University of Wales to gain a Ph.D. degree. Previously only members of staff had attained that degree. He was chemistry master in Ebbw Vale Grammar School , 1924-26 , before returning as a lecturer to the chemistry department in U.C.W. , Aberystwyth . In 1932 he was appointed an inspector under the Ministry of Education and he served as inspector of schools in Gwent , Carmarthen and Swansea , later having responsibility over technical education and teacher training colleges throughout Wales . Mainly through his foresight and motivation the first Welsh school to be established by a local authority was opened in Llanelli in 1947 . S.M. Powell , the English master at Tregaron , had fostered in him a love of literature and while at college encouraged by R. Idwal M. Jones ( DWB , 506-7) , he wrote two plays, Lluest y Bwci and Ciwrat yn y pair . Later he wrote Dirgel ffyrdd, Awel dro and others for the Swansea Drama Week Company , and at least eleven plays under the pen-name ‘ Ieuan Griffiths ’, including Tarfu'r colomennod , and Dau dylwyth . He also composed the music and words for an operetta which was performed in Newport in 1934 . He m. Annie Rebecca Morris in Tre-wen chapel , Newcastle Emlyn , 6 Apr. 1939 and they had one daughter. He d. at home, 42 Palace Avenue , Llanelli , 29 Nov. 1970 .

Sources:

  • Llanelly Star , 5 Dec. 1970 ;
  • Y Gwrandawr , Dec. 1970 , p. vii;
  • The Biographical Index of W.W. Price, Aberdâr (at the National Library of Wales and Aberdare Public Library) .

Authors:

Evan David Jones, F.S.A., (1903-87), Aberystwyth

Dr Mary Auronwy James, Aberystwyth

Published date: 2001