EVANS, WILLIAM ('Wil Ifan'; 1883 - 1968), minister (Congl.), poet and writer in Welsh and English

Name: William Evans
Pseudonym: Wil Ifan
Date of birth: 1883
Date of death: 1968
Spouse: Nesta Wyn Evans (née Edwards)
Child: Nest Evans
Child: Mari Glyn Jones (née Evans)
Child: Brian Evans
Child: Elwyn Evans
Parent: Mary Evans (née Davies)
Parent: Dan Evans
Gender: Male
Occupation: minister (Congl.), poet and writer in Welsh and English
Area of activity: Eisteddfod; Literature and Writing; Poetry; Religion
Author: Gerallt Jones

Born 22 April 1883 in Vale View, Cwmbach, Llanwinio, Carmarthenshire, son of Dan Evans, Congregational minister, later of Hawen and Bryngwenith and editor of the Celt for a period, and Mary (née Davies) of Cwmbach, Llanwinio. He graduated (B.A., 1905) in the University of Wales, and also went to Manchester College, Oxford. He was very able but did not seek a distinguished educational career; and although he was a cultured evangelical preacher, he had no desire to be a popular figure at preaching festivals. Indeed, he declined such engagements, but he was loved by the members of his pastorates. He ministered in Dolgellau, 1906-09, Bridgend, 1909-17, Richmond Road, Cardiff, 1917-25, and Bridgend yet again, until 1949 when he was made Pastor Emeritus for the rest of his life. He married Nesta Wyn, daughter of John and Catherine Edwards, Eirianfa, Dolgellau, 28 December 1910, and they had four children: Elwyn, Mari, Nest, Brian. He died 16 July 1968.

He shone as one of the most versatile of the poets and writers of Wales. He was a playwright, newspaper columnist, broadcaster, lecturer, and a lyrical poet in both Welsh and English; he was also a musician and an excellent artist. He won some of the chief prizes at provincial eisteddfodau and the crown for a pryddest at the national eisteddfod three times: at Abergavenny in 1913 ('Ieuan Gwynedd'), Birkenhead in 1917 ('Pwyll pendefig Dyfed'), and at Pwllheli in 1925 for his best known poem to his childhood area ('Bro fy mebyd'). He adjudicated many times at the national eisteddfod and was Archdruid of Wales in the Gorsedd of Bards, 1947-50.

He was a prolific writer both in Welsh and English. Among his numerous published works are collections of poems: Dros y nyth (1913), Plant y babell (1922), Haul a glaw (1938), O dydd i ddydd (1927), Y winllan las (1936), A quire of rhymes (1943), Unwaith eto (1946), Difyr a dwys (1960); plays: Dreams come true (1916), Etifedd Arberth (1937); and prose: Here and there (1953), Y filltir deg (1954), Colofnau Wil Ifan (1962).


Published date: 2001

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