Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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EVANS , Sir DAVID EMRYS ( 1891 - 1966 ), educationist and translator ;

b. 29 Mar., 1891 , son of the Rev. T. Valentine Evans , Baptist minister , Clydach, Glam. He received his education at Ystalyfera county school and the University College of North Wales , Bangor , where he graduated with first-class honours in Latin in 1911 and in Greek in 1912 . He took his Oxford B.Litt. from Jesus College , and was elected a Fellow of the University of Wales . For a short period he was assistant master at Pentre secondary school and Classics master at Longton High School . In 1919 he was appointed Assistant Lecturer in Classics at University College , Bangor , and Professor of Classics at University College , Swansea , in 1921 . He returned to Bangor as Principal in 1927 , where he remained until his retirement in 1958 . He served as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Wales for four terms — 1933-35 , 1941-44 , 1948-50 , 1954-56 . He was chairman of the Central Advisory Council for Education (Wales) 1944-46 , and of the Schools Broadcasting Council (Wales) ; deputy-chairman of the Local Government Commission for Wales 1959-62 ; a member of the Welsh Advisory Committee of the National Trust and of the Welsh Committee of the Arts Council . He also sat on the Royal Commission on University Education in Dundee 1951-52 . He was awarded the degree of LL.D. honoris causa by the University of Wales and the University of Liverpool . The city of Bangor made him an honorary freeman in 1958 . He was knighted in 1952 .

Sir Emrys published the following works: Amserau'r Testament Newydd ( 1926 ), Crefydd a Chymdeithas ( 1933 ), Y Clasuron yng Nghymru (the B.B.C. 's annual lecture in Welsh , 1952 ), and The University of Wales, a historical sketch ( 1953 ). His main contribution however was the series of translations into Welsh of Plato 's works: Amddiffyniad Socrates ( 1936 ), Phaedon ( 1938 ), Ewthaffron: Criton ( 1943 ), Gorgias ( 1946 ) and Y Wladwriaeth ( 1956 ). Sir Emrys read widely and discriminately in Welsh and thus gained a mastery of the literary language, which he wrote with classical accuracy and an occasional touch of archaism, well suited to the translations from Greek , and, in accordance with the standards recognised at the time, to the translations of the books of the New Testament which were produced under the auspices of the University. Sir Emrys was a member of the panel responsible for translating Matthew , Luke and Acts . He also assisted with the translation of the New Testament into Welsh which appeared in 1975 . As an administrator he was unobtrusive but firm.

He m. G. Nesta Jones of Pontypridd in 1927 , and they had a son and a daughter. He d. 20 Feb. 1966 .


  • Who was who? ;
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Sir Thomas Parry, D.Litt., (1904-85), Bangor / Aberystwyth

Published date: 2001