Born 20 January 1873 at Dinas, Rhondda, (his parents hailed from Pontrhyd-y-fen and Pwll-y-glaw, Cwmafon, Glam.). Soon after his birth his parents moved to Pen-y-graig and it was there that he attended the elementary school before starting work in a coalmine. He undertook a course of instruction intending to qualify as a colliery official. He was admitted to church membership at Nazareth (CM), Williamstown, where his father was an elder. In 1900 he married Kate Ann, daughter of Thomas Roberts, chief accountant at the Oakeley Slate Quarries, Blaenau Ffestiniog and for a time lived at Pont Rhondda, where he was elected an elder of his church. He moved to London to work in the milk trade. Here a milkman with the surname Maycock covered the same round and to avoid confusion George adopted his mother's surname Rees. Later on he moved to Abertillery in Gwent, where he was again chosen elder of a church. He returned to London to hold an important post with an insurance company. In 1941 he retired to Prestatyn. After the death of his wife in 1945 he went to live with his daughter and his son-in-law Prof. R.H. Evans, (Leeds University) at Headingley where he joined a Wesleyan church. He died at Headingley 1 September 1950 and was buried in Willesden Green cemetery, London, on 6 September. He won several prizes at national and other eisteddfodau : Pwllheli, 1925, Swansea, 1926, Treorchy, 1928, Liverpool, 1929, Port Talbot, 1930. He was best known for his englynion and his hymns. His hymn ‘O Fab y Dyn, Eneiniog Duw’ is regarded as one of the greatest Welsh hymns.
Published date: 2001
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