Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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DAVIES, GWILYM ELFED Baron Davies of Penrhys (19131992), Labour politician.

He was born at Tylorstown in the Rhondda valley on 9 October 1913, the son of David Davies, a coalminer and Miriam Elizabeth Williams. He received his education at Tylorstown elementary school. He worked as a coalminer at the Tylorstown colliery, 1928—59. He joined the South Wales Miners Federation in 1929, served as its lodge chair, 1934—40, and its treasurer, 1940—54. He was chairman of the Aberdare and Rhondda district of the NUM, 1958—59.

Davies had joined the Labour Party in 1929. He became an executive member of the Rhondda East CLP and the Rhondda Borough Labour Party. He also joined the CWS in 1940. Davies was a member of the St John's Ambulance Brigade, 1926—46, a member of the Glamorgan County Council, 1954—61, and chairman of its Local Government Committee, 1959—61. He represented the Rhondda East constituency in parliament from 1959 until February 1974 when he retired from parliament at the time of the creation of a single unified constituency for the Rhondda. His successor as the Labour MP for the Rhondda was T. Alec Jones. Davies was elected secretary of the Miners' Parliamentary Group in 1964, and was chairman of the Welsh Parliamentary Party, 1968—69. He was PPS, November 1964—June 1968, to Rt. Hon. R. J. Gunter, the Minister of Labour and later Minister of Power. In 1974 he became Baron Davies of Penrhys (life peerage). He was a part—time member of the South Wales Electricity Board from 1974—1980, and a member of the Sports Council for Wales from 1978. He was made a Freeman of the Borough of Swansea in 1975. His hobbies were rugby football and cricket. He married on 16 December 1940 Gwyneth, the daughter of Daniel and Agnes Janet Rees, and they had two sons and one daughter. His wife had predeceased him. They lived at Maes—y—Ffrwd, 18 Ferndale Road, Tylorstown in the Rhondda valley. He died at Llwynypiau Hospital on 28 April 1992 having suffered from chest problems for several years. His remains were cremated at Glyntaff Crematorium, Pontypridd.


  • Who was who? ;
  • Etholiadau'r Ganrif / Welsh Elections 1885-1997 (Talybont, 1999);
  • Welsh Hustings - 1885-2004 (Ammanford, 2005);
  • Western Mail , 29 April 1992.


Dr John Graham Jones, Aberystwyth

Published date: 2008