Questions it’s too late to ask

Waldo Williams and David George at Dinas CP School

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.

The Archbishop of Canterbury-at-Waldo-Williams-site-800

The Archbishop of Canterbury at the Waldo Williams memorial stone in Mynachlog-ddu. – See more at: http://rowanwilliams.archbishopofcanterbury.org/articles.php/2426/waldo-williams-poetry-and-peacemaking#sthash.QSGK35mB.dpuf

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).

 

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About bookvolunteer

I'm passionate about books, about Oxfam and about making the world a better place. When I'm not filling the shelves in Oxfam Wilmslow, I might be found reading the books I've bought in the beautiful surroundings of North Pembrokeshire.
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8 Responses to Questions it’s too late to ask

  1. what a fascinating photograph. especially as I looked at it I thought “I know that face”. William Henry James end of back row is my mother’s father. Can I have permission please to share this with her & other family members on my facebook family history page? many thanks. Melanie

    • Of course you can! I’m delighted that you found your grandfather from Brynhenllan in the photo. I would appreciate it if you could add a link to this page – as the place where you originally saw the image.

  2. great. thank you. and yes of course I’ll credit your page. Do I know you? or do you know me or my parents?

  3. Heather says:

    What a fascinating photograph and story. Walters, George, Harries – all names which appear in my Dinas family history. May I copy it to my family history file please?

  4. Carol says:

    John James Rowlands in the picture was married to my Dads Mothers Sister. I can ask my Dad questions about Dinas. He lived in Rose Place.

    • I’m so pleased you found a family connection! How did you come across the blog? I’d be really interested in any memories of what school was like for the Dinas children in the 20s and, of course, any anecdotes relating to Waldo Williams. Have you seen my photo of the Dinas carnival – probably taken at about the same time?

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