Born in 1879, the son of Thomas Isaac and Gwen Jones, Brynaman, Carmarthenshire. His father and both his grandfathers were killed in coal-mining accidents. He received his early education at Ferndale board school, and began working in a local coal mine at 12 years of age. His wages had to support a family of six. He took advantage of the opportunity to study political and economic history at Ruskin College, Oxford for two years, and, after returning to south Wales, he acted as a ‘missionary’ for the College and succeeded in persuading the South Wales Miners' Federation to establish ten scholarships to enable working miners to follow college courses. Mardy-Jones also lectured on behalf of the Independent Labour Party in south Wales. He was promoted to the position of checkweighman in 1907. In the following year he suffered an eye accident, and in 1909 he was appointed a parliamentary agent to the South Wales Miners' Federation. He gave particular attention to the activities of local government and the rating system.
Mardy-Jones was elected an M.P. (L.) for the Pontypridd division in a by-election in July 1922 when he defeated the Liberal T.A. Lewis. He continued to represent this constituency until 1931, making his home at 16 Llantwit Road, Pontypridd. He visited India in 1927. He resigned from parliament in February 1931 following accusations of allowing his wife the use of his M.P.'s railway travel voucher. He stood as an independent Labour candidate at Pontypridd in the general election of October 1931, but received only 1110 votes.
Mardy-Jones attended a number of study courses in India, the Middle East and South Africa between 1928 and 1946. He served as the Staffing Officer of the Ministry of Supply, 1942-44, and as the Education and Welfare Officer with the British forces in the Middle East from 1945 to 1946. He became a popular public lecturer on foreign affairs and specialised on India and the Middle East. He was elected a F.R.Econ.S., and was appointed official lecturer to the National Coal Board on the economics of the coal industry. He published several volumes on the work of local government and ways of reforming the rating system including Character, coal and corn — the roots of British power (1949) and India as a future world power (1952).
He married in 1911 Margaret, daughter of John Moredecai, St. Hillary, Cowbridge, Glamorgan. They had two daughters. He and his wife agreed to separate in September 1933. He died 26 August 1970 at Harold Wood Hospital, Essex, at 90 years of age.
Published date: 2001
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