JONES, GWILYM THOMAS (1908 - 1956), solicitor and administrator

Name: Gwilym Thomas Jones
Date of birth: 1908
Date of death: 1956
Spouse: Marion Jones (née Hughes)
Child: Geraint Jones
Child: Goronwy Morys Gwilym Jones
Child: Iwan Pennant Gwilym Jones
Parent: William Thomas Jones
Parent: Margery Lilian Jones
Gender: Male
Occupation: solicitor and administrator
Area of activity: Law; Public and Social Service, Civil Administration
Author: Emyr Wyn Jones

Gwilym T. Jones was born on 27 June 1908 at 21 Penlan Street, Pwllheli, Caernarfonshire, the eldest of five children of William Thomas Jones (1877-1960), painter and decorator, and his wife Margery Lilian (1880-1953). The family were members of Salem Calvinistic Methodist Chapel, Pwllheli, where Gwilym later became a deacon. He was educated at Troedyrallt Elementary School, Pwllheli County School, and then the University College of North Wales, Bangor, where he graduated with an M.A. degree in Law.

In 1936, whilst working as a solicitor in Pwllheli, he was appointed as official court translator for the trial of the 'Penyberth Three' - Saunders Lewis, Lewis Valentine, and D. J. Williams - at Caernarfon and then at the Old Bailey in London when the case was transferred there. In 1938, he became Assistant Solicitor of Caernarfonshire County Council. In 1942, he was appointed Deputy Clerk of Caernarfonshire County Council, and in 1945 Clerk of the Council.

Whilst a student at Bangor, he met Marion Hughes from Llanelli, who was studying in the Department of Welsh. They married in 1940, and made their home at 'Penlan', 2 Llys Meirion, Caernarfon. They had three sons: Geraint (b. 1942), who died of leukemia at the age of two, Goronwy Morys Gwilym Jones (b. 1948), and Iwan Pennant Gwilym Jones (b. 1952).

Gwilym T. was a committed patriot, and he pioneered Caernarfonshire County Council's Welsh language policy, including Welsh signs throughout the county. He was Vice-chairman of the Council of the National Eisteddfod, 1954-55, and at that time he was elected a member of Gorsedd y Beirdd. He was President on the day of the Crowning ceremony at the Pwllheli National Eisteddfod in 1955. He took a great interest in history, and was one of the principal founders of the Caernarfonshire Historical Society in 1939. In 1956, he was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries.

He was a close friend of the poet Cynan (Albert Edwards Jones) who dedicated two poems to him, 'Llanfihangel Ballechaeth' and 'Capel Nanhoron'. Gwilym T. was one of the prime movers of the campaign to raise money to restore Capel Newydd, Nanhoron, one of the oldest Nonconformist chapels on the Llŷn Peninsula. Capel Nanhoron was reopened after the restoration work on 26 July 1956. However, Gwilym T. was sadly not present, since he had died just a fortnight previously. The chapel was offically opened by his widow, Mrs Marion Jones, and a memorial plaque to Gwilym was unveiled as part of the same ceremony.

Gwilym T. Jones was 48 years old, successful and well-known in his job, respected by all, happily married with two young sons, active in his chapel and his community. Then suddenly, on 28 June 1956, just the day after his birthday, he fell unconscious at his home as a result of a brain haemorrhage. He remained in a coma in Caernarfon Cottage Hospital for ten days and died on 9 July 1956. He was buried on 12 July in Llanbeblig Cemetery, Caernarfon.


Published date: 2022-04-12

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