Of course I was excited to find a photo of my Uncle Davy George with his class at Dinas County Primary school. Here he is in about 1928, standing with his arms crossed in the back row – fourth from the left. But I didn’t know until yesterday that his teacher (hair swept back, stripey jumper and kind face) was Waldo Williams: the Waldo Williams with a memorial at Mynachlog-ddu and whose writing has been translated into English and celebrated by The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams (no relation).
What was it like to be taught by this gifted idealist? My dear Uncle Davy George died twenty years ago and so it’s too late to ask.
Waldo Williams was born just down the road in Haverfordwest and was 23 or 24 when this school photo was taken. Was this his first teaching post?
He is now remembered as being one of the foremost Welsh Language poets of the last century but locally he is also remembered for his pacifism – he was twice imprisoned for refusing to pay his taxes, in protest again the Korean War and compulsory national service.
For more information about his life and work click this link to the Waldo Williams Society.
With many many thanks to Gareth Francis (Waldo Williams’ nephew), who helped identify the other pupils in the photo, here are all the names – from the left:
Back row : David Morris, Stella Rees, Lily Thomas, David George Walters, Alun Thomas Y Gof (the blacksmith ), Waldo Williams (teacher and notable Welsh poet who lodged at Bennet Terrace – now known as Greenbanks), Merddin Williams, James John Rowlands, William Henry James.
Middle Row: Maggie Mary Jenkins, Dilys Davies, Lizzie John, Nelly George, Nancy Murrow, Mary E Harries.
Front row: Albert Warth, David John Murrow, James David Howells (Kiel House), Jimmy Harries, Seth Morris, Cromwell Davies (he emigrated to Australia).