Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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DAVIES , RICHARD OWEN ( 1894 - 1962 ), scientist and professor of agricultural chemistry ;

b. in Ganllwyd , near Dolgellau, Mer. , 25 May 1894 , son of Owen Davies , Congl. minister , and his wife. He was educated at Dolgellau grammar school and the University College , Aberystwyth , where he obtained an M.Sc. degree in 1916 . After five years as an industrial chemist with the Nobel Explosives Co. , he was appointed assistant lecturer in agricultural chemistry at his old college, and lecturer in 1925 . As a fellow of the Guild of Graduates of the University he studied nutritional problems in north America , and in 1939 he was appointed advisory chemist and head of the department of agricultural chemistry at University College , Aberystwyth . He had wide experience in teaching both college and extramural students, and could lecture with ease in both English and Welsh .

He was treasurer of the committee for coin- ing words for the first Welsh agricultural magazine, Gwyddor Gwlad , which was published on behalf of the Welsh agricultural section of the Guild of Graduates of the University of Wales ( 1952-63 ). He was one of the first contributors to the journal, and often broadcast on ‘ Rural science ’ for schools and on ‘ The Farmers World ’ between 1935 and 1951 . His researches dealt with problems relating to grassland and dairying, and he co-operated with the Welsh Plant Breeding Station . His articles appeared in a number of technical journals, and he wrote Elfennau Cemeg ( 1937 ), a chemistry textbook for schools. He was dean of the faculty of science ( 1950-51 ) and was appointed professor of agricultural chemistry in 1954 , and retired with the rank of professor emeritus of the University of Wales in 1959 . He served as external examiner in agricultural chemistry for the Institute of Chemistry from 1944 to 1954 . He d. 25 Feb. 1962 and was buried in the public cemetery, Aberystwyth . He m. in June 1929 Dinah Myfanwy , daughter of James Evans , Mydroilyn , Llannarth . [She d. 15 Mar ., within a few weeks of her 100th birthday on 10 Apr. 1987 ].


  • Journal of the Royal Institute of Chemistry , July. 1962 , 300;
  • Ellis , The University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, 1872–1972 (1972) ;
  • information given by his widow [and her niece].


Melfyn Richard Williams, Llanuwchllyn

Published date: 2001