Born 7 October 1863, at Talley, Carmarthenshire, the son of Herbert Davies. After the family had moved to Llanelly, William was apprenticed at the office of the Guardian newspaper, he later became a reporter at Cardiff, editor of the Evening Express, assistant editor of the Western Mail, and, on the retirement of H. Lascelles Carr in 1901, editor in chief. Journalism claimed his undivided attention throughout his career; it was also his recreation, for he would spend thirteen or fourteen hours a day at his editorial table. He was gifted with considerable ability to foresee the consequences of policies, and had an intuitive understanding of the thoughts and aspirations of his fellow countrymen. He enjoyed the confidence and friendship of leaders of Welsh life, and they would often invade his office to discuss with him the topics of the day. In consequence, though not himself a public man, he exercised much influence on Welsh affairs until his retirement from active work in 1931. He wielded on occasion a pungent pen, but his natural guise was that of a humorist, and he founded and conducted for more than thirty years the light column entitled ' Wales day by day.' He rarely spoke from the public platform, though he became president of the Cardiff Cymrodorion Society in 1919-20, vice-president of the World's Press Parliament in 1904, a governor of the University College of South Wales and Monmouthshire, Cardiff, and a Justice of the Peace. He was knighted in 1921, and died 17 March 1935.
Published date: 1959
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