Meanwhile in the autumn of 1977 Gareth Evans had taken up a position as lecturer in the Faculty of Education at the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth. From the outset he was an accomplished lecturer, utterly devoted to the welfare of his students, and participated fully in the administrative work of his department. In 1981 he became a member of the working party of the WJEC General Certificate of Education Board set up to prepare subject specific criteria for a common system of examining at age 16 plus. In 1982 he began a career as examiner for the WJEC which extended for many years. He soon became chief examiner in history for the GCSE. He possessed an infectious enthusiasm for history as an academic discipline, to train and enthuse future teachers of the subject, and to ensure an adequate supply of teaching materials in the Welsh language. Hence the stream of publications which he wrote for the Centre for Educational Studies (Canolfan Adnoddau Addysg) within his department and his support for the external degree scheme through the medium of Welsh established by his university in the early 1980s.
At the same time Gareth Evans continued his academic researches with vigour and was awarded the MA degree of the University of Wales in 1981 and the Ph.D degree in 1987. A revised version of the latter dissertation was published by the University of Wales Press under the title Education and Female Emancipation: the Welsh Experience, 1847—1914 in the summer of 1990 and was notably well received. He had also established himself as a much sough—after public lecturer who attracted substantial audiences whenever he spoke. Evans published widely on individual schools and educationalists from about the middle of the nineteenth century onwards and he was especially attracted by the history of the education of women, previously a woefully neglected subject of study. Such was his contribution in so many spheres that he was promoted to a richly deserved (and indeed long overdue) Senior Lectureship in 1991, and within three years he had again been promoted to the title and grade of university reader. There can be no doubt that, had he survived, Gareth Evans would soon have been awarded a personal chair by the University of Wales. He married on 15 October 1966 Kathleen Thomas, and they had two sons. Their Aberystwyth home was at ‘Berwyn’, 37 Cefn Esgair, Llanbadarn Fawr. The younger son Rhys Evans is the author of the highly acclaimed biography Gwynfor: Rhag Pob Brad published by Gwasg y Lolfa in 2005. Gareth Evans died at his home on 28 March 2000, after a long and brave battle against cancer.
Dr John Graham Jones, Aberystwyth
Published date: 2008