Born 28 October 1886 at Kidwelly, Carmarthenshire, the second son of John Gwendraeth Anthony and Mary (née Harris), his wife. The father was a provision merchant, general draper and outfitter at Paris House, Kidwelly. David Brynmor attended the local Castle School before going to the county intermediate school at Llanelli. Entering University College of Wales, Aberystwyth in October 1905 he graduated in 1908 with a class I in French and Romance philology, his studies including also history and Latin. From October 1908 until January 1910 he taught at the Collège de Garçons, Cambrai, France, but with the help of a University of Wales postgraduate studentship he was able to leave his post and continue his studies at the Sorbonne and the Bibliothèque Nationale. In June 1910 he was awarded the degree of M.A. by the University of Wales for a dissertation on the poetry of the Parnassian group of French poets. In January 1911 he was appointed to teach French at Holloway County High School, London.
He enlisted in the Royal Welch Fusiliers in September 1914 and served overseas from November 1915 to the end of January 1919, at first in Belgium and France, and later in Italy. He rose to the rank of captain, and for his services was awarded the M.C., and bar, the Italian silver medal for valour, and the Croce di Guerra. At the end of the hostilities he was appointed to organise educational schemes for the troops in northern Italy, his continued stay in the country enabling him to learn Italian with great proficiency. He later (in 1920) qualified for a diploma in Italian awarded by the University of Florence.
He returned in 1919 to Holloway school and in February 1921 was appointed registrar of the University of Wales. In addition to the usual duties of the registrarship he became in 1931 acting secretary of the Welsh National School of Medicine, pending the appointment of a fulltime secretary. His duty as secretary of the art committee of the University gave him an opportunity to arouse and cultivate a greater awareness and appreciation of art in Wales. He became secretary and later chairman of the Contemporary Art Society for Wales and art remained a passion for him. He never lost his interest in France and in modern languages. He served as honorary treasurer of the Modern Language Association, as a member of its council, and as president of the South Wales branch. In 1936 he was nominated Officier d'Académie by the French government. During the years 1939-45 he was chairman of an organisation set up in Cardiff called Friends of Free France, and for services to the Free French Forces he was awarded, in 1947, the Médaille de Vermeil de la Reconnaissance Française by the French government. In 1964 he was promoted to the rank of Officier de l'Ordre des Palmes Académiques for services to France and French culture.
He resigned from the post of university registrar in 1945 and soon afterwards, in February 1946, he was appointed chief inspector of the Central Welsh Board. The C.W.B. was merged into the new structure when the Welsh Joint Education Committee came into being: Brynmor Anthony transferred to the W.J.E.C. and continued with it up to his retirement.
His wife was Doris Musson, youngest daughter of George Tait Galloway Musson and his wife of Liverpool. They were married on 24 April 1918. There were two children, David Alan, and Lois Mary. He was made a freeman of the borough of Kidwelly in July 1924. He was an elder of Pembroke Terrace Presb. church, Cardiff, and was a member of the board of the Forward Movement of the Presbyterian Church of Wales. He believed firmly in the value of physical activity; he took his walks seriously and played golf regularly as a member of the Radyr Golf Club. During World War II he began to keep bees and came to have a large number of hives and to produce great quantities of honey. It is worth recording this personal detail for it symbolises his seriousness and industriousness — or better still, his 'busy-ness'. He died 24 January 1966.
Published date: 2001
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