DAVIES, TOM EIRUG ('Eirug '; 1892 - 1951), Congl. minister, writer and poet

Name: Tom Eirug Davies
Pseudonym: Eirug
Date of birth: 1892
Date of death: 1951
Spouse: Jennie Davies (née Thomas)
Child: Eleri Eurig Morgan (née Davies)
Child: Dewi Aled Eirug Davies
Child: Alun Eirug Davies
Parent: Mary Davies
Parent: John Davies
Gender: Male
Occupation: Congl. minister, writer and poet
Area of activity: Eisteddfod; Literature and Writing; Poetry; Religion
Author: Gerallt Jones

Born at Troed-y-rhiw, a farm in Gwernogle, Carmarthenshire, 23 February 1892, only son of John and Mary Davies. He worked on the farm until he was 18 years old, when he was encouraged to preach. He was educated at Gwernogle elementary school, Tremle preparatory school, Pencader, 1910-12, the University College and Bala-Bangor College (Congl.) in Bangor 1912-19. He graduated B.A. (honours philosophy) and B.D. The principal, Thomas Rees, referred to him as one of his brightest students. He gained an M.A. degree in 1931 for a thesis on the contribution of Gwilym Hiraethog (William Rees, 1802 - 1883 to the life and literature of his period.

He became minister of the churches at Cwmllynfell, 1919-26, and Soar, Lampeter with Bethel, Parc-y-rhos, 1926-51. He held classes under the auspices of the department of extramural studies of the University of Wales and many came to his home (particularly in Cwmllynfell) to prepare themselves for the ministry. He was a preacher and poet of very special talent-he won the crown twice-at the national eisteddfod in Aberafan, 1932, and Neath, 1934, and various other prizes (see the preface, 'Diolchiadau', to Cerddi Eirug). He adjudicated many times in the national eisteddfod, and was known as ' Eirug ' in the Gorsedd of Bards.

He edited Ffrwythau Dethol (Ben Davies, Pant-teg) and Cofiant Thomas Rees (a biography of his old principal at Bala-Bangor). He also published a history of the church in New Testament times (1932), and a history of his two churches, Soar (1931) and Bethel (1940), and of Gwernogle (1949). He contributed articles to Y Geiriadur Beiblaidd (1926), and chapters on Philip Pugh and his predecessors in Y Cofiadur, 1937, and on the faith of the Congregationalists in Ffyrdd a Ffydd (1945). He edited Y Dysgedydd 1943-51, and his contributions showed him to be an astute thinker and writer on a range of topics. For a period his notes concerned ' Gwernogau ' - his old area in Carmarthenshire These were collected under the title Yr Hen Gwm (1966), edited by one of his sons, Alun Eirug Davies. His poems were published posthumously in Cerddi Eirug (1966).

He married in 1920 Jennie Thomas (a fellow-student at Bangor), the eldest daughter of R.H. Thomas, (Presb.) minister, Llansannan, and they had eight children. Both he and his wife had a long struggle with ill health in middle age. She died in 1948, and he died 27 September 1951.


Published date: 2001

Article Copyright: http://rightsstatements.org/page/InC/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.