THOMAS, Sir OWEN (1858 - 1923), agriculturist, soldier, and Member of Parliament

Name: Thomas
Date of birth: 1858
Date of death: 1923
Gender: Male
Occupation: agriculturist, soldier, and Member of Parliament
Area of activity: Military; Nature and Agriculture; Politics, Government and Political Movements
Author: Thomas Richards

Born on 18 December 1858, at Carrog in Anglesey, of an old Nonconformist stock; he was a devoted Congregationalist throughout his life. He was educated at Liverpool College, and afterwards devoted himself to farming; later he became agent to the Plas Coch and Brynddu estates; in 1893-7 he sat as member of the Royal Commission on Agricultural Depression - he and lord Rendel were the only representatives of Wales on that body. He was prominent in public work, justice of the peace and deputy-lieutenant, and high sheriff of Anglesey (1893). He was in South Africa when the Boer War broke out in 1899, he was made a colonel, and raised and commanded the Prince of Wales Light Horse. After the war he developed important farming interests in South Africa, and published (London, 1904) Agricultural and Pastoral Prospects of South Africa. Soon after the outbreak of the 1914-19 war, he became brigadier-general responsible for the training of young Welshmen recruited in North Wales, an almost ideal appointment, what with his interest in the old Volunteer Movement, his experience in war, and his easy accessibility as a thorough Welshman in speech and outlook; he made a great success of it, notwithstanding some refractory cases of discipline which found their way into the newspapers of the time; he was knighted in 1917. He had always been a keen politician - as far back as 1894 his name had been mentioned as a likely Liberal candidate for Anglesey, and in December 1918, he came forward as Labour candidate, and won the seat from E. J. Ellis-Griffith, who had represented the county since 1895. In 1919-20 he was a member of the Milner Commission that went to Egypt to report upon the political position in that country. In 1922 he was adopted as Independent candidate for Anglesey, and again won the seat against his official Liberal opponent. He died 6 March 1923, and was buried at Llanfechell on the 9th.


Published date: 1959

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