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National Library of Wales
Davies, Gwilym, Rev., papers

Reference code(s): GB 0210 GWVIES

Held at: National Library of Wales

Title: Rev. Gwilym Davies Papers

Short Title: Davies, Gwilym, Rev., papers

Creation date(s): 1902-1955

Level of description: Fonds

Extent: 0.265 cubic metres (12 boxes)

Name of creator(s): Rev. Gwilym Davies


Administrative/Biographical history: Gwilym Davies (1879-1955) was born at Cwmfelin, Bedlinog, Glamorgan. He began preaching in 1895, and trained at the Midland Baptist College, Nottingham, and at Rawdon College. There he won the Pegg Scholarship, enabling him to enter Jesus College, Oxford, where he edited The Baptist Outlook. In 1906, he was ordained minister at Broad Haven, Pembrokeshire, and married Annie Margaretta Davies. She died in December the same year and their baby son died four months later. He later served as minister in Carmarthen, 1908-1915, Abergavenny, 1915-1919, and Llandrindod, 1919-1922, after which he retired from the ministry. He co-founded the Welsh School of Social Services in 1911, to apply Christian principles to social questions. He also championed the rights of boys from reformatory schools, who were not always justly treated by their employers. In 1922, he co-founded with Lord David Davies of Llandinam the Welsh council of the League of Nations, with the aim of securing co-operation between the world's nations, and served as its director 1922-1945. Under his direction, the council's Welsh Education Committee's draft model constitution for an international education organisation greatly influenced the creation of UNESCO. Davies is probably remembered best for initiating in 1922 the peace message of the youth of Wales to the youth of the world, now broadcast annually on 18 May. He was also the first person to broadcast in Welsh, on St David's Day, 1923. In January 1942, he married Mary Elizabeth Ellis of Dolgellau, only the second ever woman to be appointed a school inspector in Wales. He had suffered ill-health since a teenager, and died in January 1955; his ashes were scattered at Lavernock Point, Penarth.


Scope and content/abstract: Personal correspondence, 1916-1954; study notes, 1902-1952; biographical material, 1903-1954; notebooks entitled 'Tennyson Biography'; sermons and addresses, 1932-1952; orders of service for Victory, 1945, the United Nations 1946, Human Rights Day, 1951-1954, the Coronation and other occasions, 1931-1954; religious and international affairs, 1944-1945; Welsh Book Festivals, 1935-1938; Welsh School of Social Service, 1911-1940; The Gregynog Conferences on International Education, 1922-1937; Advisory Education Committee minutes, 1926-1929; international co-operation, 1933-1937; Welsh nationalism, 1910-1943, including nationalists' attitudes towards World War II, 1939-1941; broadcasting materials mostly of Marconi and Kemp, 1931-1953; Welsh broadcasting, 1923-1948; the Welsh Children's Peace Message, Pageant, and Wales and the Peace Movement, 1923-1955; BBC staff changes and administration in Wales, 1934-1952; the League of Nations, 1923-1952; the Welsh National Council of the League of Nations Union, 1923-1945; United Nations, 1942-1954; UNESCO, 1925-1947; addresses, radio talks and notebooks on the international situation, 1930-1954; Council for Education in World Citizenship, 1940-1950; London International Assembly, 1941-1944; Welsh Committee of the UNESCO, 1949-1953 and human rights materials, 1945-1953.


Language/scripts of material: Welsh, English

System of arrangement: Arranged into the following: personal papers; religious and cultural papers; papers of Welsh interest; broadcasting; international affairs.

Conditions governing access: Readers consulting modern papers in the National Library of Wales are required to sign the 'Modern papers - data protection' form.

Conditions governing reproduction: Usual copyright regulations apply.

Finding aids: A hard copy of the catalogue is available at the National Library of Wales. The catalogue can be accessed on-line from:

Detailed catalogue


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information: All records donated to the National Library of Wales have been retained.

Accruals: Accruals are not expected.

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition: Donated to the National Library of Wales by his widow, Mrs Gwilym Davies, MA, Aberystwyth, 1955 and 1956.



Note: Title supplied from content of fonds.

Archivist's note: Compiled by Seri Crawley for the ANW Project. The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: NLW Schedule of the Papers of the Rev. Gwilym Davies; Annual Reports 1954-55, p. 23; 1955-56, p. 26; 1958-59, p. 28; 1966-67, p.25; Dictionary of Welsh Biography, 1941-1970 (London, 2001); MEPs receive Urdd Message of Peace and Goodwill (, viewed 17 February 2003; Whos Who Vol. VII (London, 1981).

Rules or conventions: This description follows ANW guidelines based on ISAD(G) second edition, AACR2, and LCSH.

Date(s) of descriptions: February 2003

Baptists | Sermons
Broadcasting | Wales
Children | Wales | 20th century
International relations
League of Nations Union. | Welsh National Council | Records and correspondence
League of Nations | Records and correspondence
Peace movements | Wales
Sermons | Wales | 20th century
Unesco | Records and correspondence
Unesco | Welsh Committee
United Nations | Records and correspondence
World War, 1939-1945 | Wales

Personal names
Davies , Gwilym
Kemp , George
Marconi , Guglielmo , 1874-1937 , marchese
Tennyson , Charles , b. 1879 , Sir

Corporate names
Advisory Education Committee
BBC Active (Firm)
Council for Education in World Citizenship
Gregynog Conferences on International Education
League of Nations
League of Nations Union | Welsh National Council
London International Assembly
United Nations
Welsh Book Festival
Welsh School of Social Service


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