DANIEL, GWYNFRYN MORGAN (Gwyn) (1904 - 1960), educationalist and language campaigner

Name: Gwynfryn Morgan Daniel
Date of birth: 1904
Date of death: 1960
Spouse: Annie Daniel (née Evans)
Child: Nia Daniel
Child: Ethni Daniel
Child: Lona Roberts (née Daniel)
Parent: Thomas Daniel
Parent: Sarah Daniel (née Walters)
Gender: Male
Occupation: educationalist and language campaigner
Area of activity: Education
Author: Dafydd Johnston

Gwyn Daniel was born on 1 August 1904 in the village of Bryn, Port Talbot, the first child of Thomas Daniel (1875-1952), a coalminer, and his wife Sarah (née Walters, 1879-1922). Their second child, Mary Margaret (May) was born in 1909. The family worshipped at Bryn Seion Calvinistic Methodist Chapel.

Gwyn was a pupil at the local elementary school before attending the County School for Boys, Port Talbot. He was of the opinion that his family had contributed to the Anglicisation of his local school and community, and it was his ambition to atone for that travesty. He graduated in Geography and Welsh at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, and played centre for the University's first rugby team. A few years later he and his close friend, Eic Davies (1909-1993), compiled Welsh language terminology for the game, terms that are still used by rugby commentators. In 1929 he was instrumental in establishing the Afan and Margam Branch of Urdd Gobaith Cymru. The academic and poet Professor T. Gwynn Jones was a crucial influence from his college days, particularly on his beliefs regarding Wales, the Welsh language and pacifism.

It was during his time in Aberystwyth that he met fellow student Annie Evans (1904-1979) from Ystrad Rhondda. They were married in 1936 and set up home in Cardiff where their three daughters, Nia, Ethni and Lona, were born. The family attended Ebeneser Welsh Congregational Chapel where Gwyn Daniel was both a deacon and Sunday School teacher.

In 1932, Gwyn Daniel and others were appointed teachers of Welsh in Cardiff and he taught in the Grange and Herbert Thompson schools. Between 1934 and 1937 he was president of the Cardiff Elementary Schools Group of Urdd Gobaith Cymru and in 1937 was secretary to the Urdd's National Athletic Sports meeting at Maindy Stadium. In 1939, he served as Cardiff's secretary to the National Petition calling for a Parliament for Wales.

He was one of the trustees of Tŷ'r Cymry, Gordon Road, when the house was gifted in 1936 to the Welsh-speaking community of Cardiff. At that centre he worked with teachers, parents and ministers of religion to establish a Welsh-medium school. As part of that campaign, a voluntary Saturday Morning School was established in 1943 and Gwyn Daniel was one of the teachers. In 1949, following a long campaign, Cardiff Education Committee opened a Welsh-medium primary school in two classrooms at Ninian Park School. He was the first chairman of the parents association for Welsh-medium education, 'Rhieni Dros Addysg Gymraeg'. Through networking activities involving correspondence, public meetings and personal visits throughout Wales, the Welsh National Union of Teachers (UCAC), was established in 1940. Gwyn Daniel chaired the meeting to found the Union and served as its first General Secretary.

As a result of his stand as a conscientious objector during the Second World War, Cardiff Education Committee dismissed him from his teaching post. Following a period as a clerk, Glamorgan Education Committee appointed him to teach at Cogan School, Penarth. In 1952 he became headteacher of Gwaelod y Garth School.

Gwyn Daniel died following a heart attack in Bangor on 31 October 1960 while visiting UCAC branches in north Wales. He was buried in Ely Cemetery, Cardiff.


Published date: 2021-05-12

Article Copyright: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

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