Born 13 December 1868 at Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant, Montgomeryshire, the son of Richard Bellis Jones, schoolmaster, and Hannah (née Vaughan). He was educated at his father's school and later at the Northern Institute at Liverpool and at Oswestry High School under Owen Owen. From 1885 to 1890, he was a student at University College of Wales Aberystwyth, returning after a period of teaching at Oswestry to read for the degree of M.A. (London) which he took in 1894. After a short period as Headmaster of Llandeilo county school (1894-99) he became headmaster of Barry county school where he remained until his retirement in 1933. He then became Adviser on Welsh matters to the B.B.C., where he organised school programmes and acted as secretary of the Religious Advisory Committee. He was at various times Clerk, Treasurer and Warden of the University of Wales Guild of Graduates, the only person to hold all three offices; a member of the Central Welsh Board, the only one to serve for its entire duration; and member of the Court and Council of the University of Wales, of Aberystwyth, of the University College of South Wales, and of the National Museum of Wales. In 1910 he was President of the Association of Welsh Secondary Schools. During World War I he became Officer commanding the Glamorgan Fortress Engineers with the rank of Major and was awarded the Military O.B.E. The University of Wales conferred on him the honorary degree of M.A. in 1922 and of LL.D. in 1951, and he received the Freedom of Barry in 1951.
He was a vigorous and imaginative headmaster and had an exceptional capacity to inspire loyalty and devotion among both pupils and staff. His personality enabled him to run a very flourishing and happy school with complete authority but without oppressive discipline. He had an extensive knowledge of archaeology and of the arts, particularly of painting, architecture and poetry; and there were hundreds of past pupils whose interest in culture was first awakened by him. He was also keenly interested in sport. At Aberystwyth he was the athletic champion and a member of the soccer team (which he captained) and of the first fifteen, and as headmaster there were few school games at which he was not present.
On 22 December 1894 he married Ann Gwenllian, daughter of Thomas Jones of Dowlais, and a fellow student at Aberystwyth. She was a lady of considerable ability who at the age of 20, went as a tutor to the grandchildren of John Hughes (1814 - 1889), the pioneer in the development of Russian metallurgy, at Yuzovka, in the Donets basin. They had three children, Gareth and two daughters, Gwyneth and Eirian. He died 1 May 1953.
Published date: 2001
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