Born 8 April 1879 at Ystalyfera, Glamorganshire, son of Alfred Chappell and Ellen Watkins. Trained for the teaching profession at the University College of South Wales and Monmouthshire, Cardiff, he was for a time headmaster of Rhiw-fawr school, Pontardawe. In 1912 he joined Professor Herbert Stanley Jevons as a research assistant in economics, work which involved travelling and lecturing in south Wales as propagandist on behalf of the garden cities movement and town and country planning and writing articles and pamphlets on these and related subjects. In 1917 he became secretary of the Welsh section of the Industrial Unrest Commission set up by the War Cabinet, and, in 1918 special investigator for the Ministry of Agriculture into wages and conditions of employment of agricultural labourers in south Wales. From 1918 to 1921 he was an inspector under the housing department of the Ministry of Health, becoming, in 1921, Secretary of the South Wales Regional Survey Committee set up by the same Ministry.
Leaving the Ministry of Health he formed and managed building and land development companies in the Cardiff and London areas. He was one of the founders and for some years the secretary of the Welsh Housing and Development Association; he edited The Welsh Housing Year Book for 1916, 1917, and 1918. (For a list of companies with which he was connected see Who's Who in Wales, 1937). Later he devoted himself to local government affairs, serving on many councils (including the Glamorgan county council) and their various sub-committees; he was also a Privy Council representative on the Court of Governors of the National Library of Wales. In 1948, he was awarded the degree of M.A., honoris causa, by the University of Wales.
His main publications, apart from contributions to newspapers and journals (he was for a time editor of The Welsh Outlook) are: Gwalia's Homes, 1911; Pithead and Factory Baths (with J.A. Lovat-Fraser), 1920; The Housing Problem in Wales 1920; History of the Port of Cardiff, 1939; Historic Melingriffith, 1940; The Government of Wales, 1943; Wake up, Wales, a Survey of Home Rule Activities, 1943; Cardiff's Civic Centre, a Historical Guide, 1946.
He married Alice, daughter of Caleb Thomas, Ystalyfera, and they had one son. Chapell died 26 August 1949 at Cardiff.
Published date: 2001
Article Copyright: http://rightsstatements.org/page/InC-RUU/1.0/
The Dictionary of Welsh Biography is provided by The National Library of Wales and the University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies. It is free to use and does not receive grant support. A donation would help us maintain and improve the site so that we can continue to acknowledge Welsh men and women who have made notable contributions to life in Wales and beyond.
Find out more on our sponsorship page.