Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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THOMAS, IVOR OWEN (1898-1982), Labour politician.

He was born on 5 December 1898, the son of Benjamin L. and Margaret Thomas of Briton Ferry. He was educated at Vernon Place School, Briton Ferry, and later at the Central Labour College, London, 1923-25, where he held a NUR scholarship. He began work at the age of ten as a barber's lather boy. Later, he earned his living at the Gwalia Tinplate Works, Briton Ferry, 1912-19, as an engine cleaner on the Great Western Railway, Pontypool Road, 1919-23, and at the Head Office of the National Union of Railwaymen, 1925-45 and 1955-58. He was a member of the Battersea Borough Council, 1929-45, and was chairman of its housing committee, 1934-38. Thomas was elected the Labour MP for the Wrekin division of Shropshire in the general election of July 1945 and sat until his defeat in 1955 when he lost the seat to the Conservative candidate William Yates by just 478 votes. He then returned to the NUR head office staff. He was a member of staff of the Waterloo Department of British Railways, Southern Region, 1960-64, and of the Westminster City Council, Land Use Survey, 1965-66. He had married in 1929, Beatrice, the daughter of Councillor William Davis of Battersea. She died in 1978. They lived at Marobea, 26 Sumburgh Road, London SW12. He died on 11 January 1982.


  • Who was who? ;
  • Dod's Parliamentary Companion ;
  • The Times , 16 Jan. 1982.


Dr John Graham Jones, Aberystwyth

Published date: 2008