JONES, Sir LEWIS (1884 - 1968), industrialist and politician

Name: Lewis Jones
Date of birth: 1884
Date of death: 1968
Spouse: Alice Maud Jones (née Willis)
Parent: Margaret Jones
Parent: Evan Jones
Gender: Male
Occupation: industrialist and politician
Area of activity: Business and Industry; Politics, Government and Political Movements
Author: John Graham Jones

Born 13 February 1884, the eldest son of Evan and Margaret Jones, Tegfan, College Street, Ammanford, Carmarthenshire. His father, who spent his whole life in the tinplate industry (he died in 1934) was a devoted Congregationalist, and one of the first members of the Ammanford Urban District Council. Lewis Jones was educated at Ammanford secondary school and Reading University, where he spent five years. He earned his living as a schoolmaster at Reading until 1910 when he resigned his post in order to devote himself entirely to political work. From 1914 until 1917 he served in the Ministry of Armaments where he became secretary of the Priority Department. Jones was appointed secretary of the South Wales Siemens Steel Association in 1917, in which position he remained for 44 years until 1961.

In October 1931 he was elected an M.P. (National Liberal), one of the supporters of Sir John Simon in the House of Commons for the Swansea West constituency when he defeated H.W. Samuel (Lab.). He continued to represent this division until July 1945 when, against all expectations, he was ousted by Percy Morris (Lab.). He again stood in the same seat as a National Liberal and Conservative in the general election of February 1950, but was unsuccessful. In 1933 he was chosen as a member of the National Health Insurance Joint Committee, and he became a J.P. for the borough of Swansea in 1934. He succeeded Clement Davies to serve as a Parliamentary Charity Commissioner between 1937 and 1945. Jones also served from 1952 as a member of the General Advisory Council of the B.B.C. He published a large number of articles and papers on economic and industrial matters. He acted as the Senior Vice-President of the Council and Court of Governors of University College; Swansea, and of the University of Wales, and he believed strongly in preserving the unified federal structure of the University. He was knighted in 1944 for his political and public work, and he was awarded the degree of LL.D. honoris causa by the University of Wales in 1954. Lewis Jones was a native Welsh -speaker, and was one of the first members of Gwynfryn Independent chapel, Ammanford, when it was founded in 1903. For many years he was a member of Swansea Cricket and Swansea Football Club.

He married in 1911 Alice Maud, daughter of Frederick W. Willis of Bath. There were two sons. The younger was killed while on active service in India in 1947. Sir Lewis Jones lived at Highfield, Sketty, Swansea, and died 10 December 1968 aged 84.


Published date: 2001

Article Copyright:

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.