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Born in Prestatyn, Flintshire, in 1874, the son of Griffith Eames and his wife Margaret Dowell from Prestatyn. His father was a carpenter who had been apprenticed in Liverpool after working, for a time, on the land in his native Anglesey. He settled in Barrow-in-Furness where he met his future wife as a fellow chorister in the choir conducted by Peter Edwards, ‘Pedr Alaw’. Margaret Eames insisted on returning to Prestatyn so that the child was born in Wales, although he was raised in Barrow for two years before the family moved to Maes-y-Groes, Prestatyn. William Eames was educated at the church school until he was 12 when he left to work with his father. However, at the age of 17 he became a pupil-teacher at the new British School in Prestatyn. In October 1894, he was one of the first students at the education department of University College Bangor and he studied there for two years. When he had completed his course, he took a post as assistant teacher in the Wesleyan School at Dartford, Kent. He spent two years there and began to write for the press — Illustrated Bits, Sketchy Bits — and for John Hugh Edwards ' Young Wales. He moved to a school in Surbiton and, after two years, accepted in 1900 a post at the Board School, Caernarfon, where he began to use the Welsh language in lessons, against accepted practice but with the support of Her Majesty's Inspectors of Schools. At Caernarfon, Eames established close relations with the leading figures of Welsh journalism, e.g., R. Gwyneddon Davies under John Davies, ‘Gwyneddon’); Beriah Gwynfe Evans; Daniel Rees; T. Gwynn Jones and John R. Lloyd, the cartoonist and, later, his brother-in-law. Eames already had an interest in journalism and it is not surprising that the contacts he made at Caernarfon turned his mind towards journalism. When R. Gwyneddon Davies went to America for three months in 1902, he chose Eames to write, in his place, the leading article and a weekly column in the North Wales Observer. In September 1902, Eames left teaching in order to succeed John Thomas, ‘Eifionydd’ as editor of Y Genedl, a post he held until 1907 when he was appointed one of the sub-editors on the Manchester Guardian which he joined in January 1908. He kept his connection with the Guardian after he was appointed financial secretary to the Manchester Stock Exchange. He became the secretary of the Exchange in 1919. Together with the sons of C.P. Scott, he founded in 1920 the Manchester Guardian Commercial Supplement, a commercial weekly, which first appeared in June 1920 and became very popular, especially for its supplements, in the commercial world. This publication was issued up to 1939 and it gave publicity to Charles Tonge's suggestion that white lines should be painted on roads in order to control traffic. Eames settled in Prestatyn when he returned to Wales in 1931 and began to broadcast from the Bangor studios. Sir John Reith appointed him press secretary to the Ministry of Information in 1940; he moved to Cardiff where he became friendly with D.T. Davies and Caleb Rees, school inspectors. He spoke frequently on the radio from Cardiff. In 1947, he was appointed M.B.E.
He married on 25 July 1902 Jane Myfanwy Hughes, the sister of Howel Harris Hughes and the author of Llyfr prydiau bwyd (1932). As ‘Megan Ellis’, she was the editor of the women's pages in Y Ford Gron and she also broadcast from Bangor and Cardiff. Together, they wrote a novel, Melin y ddôl (1948). William Eames died at Colwyn Bay on 29 September 1958; his wife had died at Cardiff on 23 June 1955.
Published date: 2001
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