History and Heritage

T.W. Davies, Vicar of Ystalyfera

Rev. T.W. Davies was vicar of Ystalyfera from 1954 to 1963, overseeing Saint David's Church and Holy Trinity as well as Saint James' mission church in Godrergraig.

The South Wales Voice newspaper of 12th February 1954 recorded information about the vicar designate of Ystalyfera, Rev Thomas William Davies.


The vicar designate of Ystalyfera, the Rev Thomas William Davies, is no stranger to the Swansea Valley.
He was born at Glais in 1902, where his father, Mr Griffith Davies was well known. His mother still lives at Cefn Road Glais.
Mr Davies entered the University when he was 30 and took his BA in history and philosophy at Swansea. He then took a two year postgraduate course at Bangor.
He was ordained a deacon in St Asaph Cathedral in 1937 and was ordained a priest at that cathedral in 1938.
He became curate of Bagillt Flintshire from 1937-1943 and was curate of Ystradgynlais from 1943-1946.
Mr Davies is married to a Clydach lady, the daughter of Mr R J Jones of East End Garage Clydach. They have three boys aged 14, 10 and 6.
Before entering university, Mr Davies was for some years on the staff of the Mond Nickel Works Co., Clydach and of Gilbertson's Steelworks Pontardawe.
He has always been interested in sport and was a competent rugby forward and hockey centre- half.
Provisional date for his induction at St David's church Ystalyfera is 9th April, the day after his 52nd birthday.

The South Wales Voice newspaper, 17th February 1956 records the death of the Rev T W Davies' mother, who had been staying with him in her illness:-


The death took place on February 14th at the Vicarage Ystalyfera, of Mrs Alice Davies, Cefn Road Glais.
A native of Glais, the widow of Mr Griffith Davies and in her 86th year, Mrs Davies had not been well for some time, and for the last four months had been staying with her son, the Rev Thomas William Davies, Vicar of Ystalyfera and his wife, both of whom had cared for her.
Mrs Davies, a lifelong member of Seion Chapel Glais, was well known and highly respected. Until the outbreak of the last war she kept a grocery and drapery business assisted by another son, Mr Richard Davies who, at present, deals in hardware.
She lost her husband in 1916 and devoted herself entirely to the upbringing of her young family. She was entirely self-taught, having had practically no schooling, but that did not prevent her from learning enough Greek to be able to teach its rudiments to her son before he entered the Church.
She was of an adventurous nature as can be realised by the fact that she opened a millinery business when only 10 years of age.
The funeral took place at Seion Glais on 17th February after a service at St David's Ystalyfera.
The mourners were: Rev and Mrs T W Davies son and daughter in law; Mr R Davies son; Masters Clifford, Richard and John Davies grandsons; Rev R T Gregory Cardiff brother; Miss L M Griffiths house keeper; D Morgan MPS Pontardawe, S Davies Glais, W J Davies and S Davies Trebanos; D Davies Clydach nephews; W Thomas Birchgrove, M Thomas BA Ynystawe, David Jones Birchgrove, Herbert Gregory Clydach cousins.

The Llais from Friday 3rd April 1959 recorded the death of the Reverend T W Davies' wife:-


The death occurred at her home "The Vicarage" on Wednesday morning of Mrs Margaret Jessie Davies, wife of the Rev Thomas William Davies of St David's Church Ystalyfera. She was 51 years old and had been ill for a number of years. Mrs Davies, a native of Clydach took a very keen and active part in Church life and other organisations.
She was on the sub executive committee of the Brecon Women's Institute, the Board of Finance of the Swansea and Brecon Diocese, the Mothers Union Council, Swansea and Brecon and was the presiding member of the East Gower Deanery.
There are three sons.

The Voice newspaper, 3rd April 1959 also included an official death Notice:-

On 1st April at Ystalyfera Vicarage, Margaretta Jessie [Rita] beloved wife of Tom and dear mother of Clifford, Richard and John: Public Service at St David's Ystalyfera Saturday 4th April at 2pm: Burial at Coedgwilym Cemetery Clydach: No flowers by her own request.

The Voice newspaper 10th April 1959 reported on the funeral:-

MANY TRIBUTES TO MRS MARGARETTA DAVIES Clergy and Ministers of all denominations from every village in the Swansea Valley and adjacent areas, together with leading members of churches, chapel, local authorities, public and social bodies, attended the funeral on Saturday of Mrs Margaretta Davies, wife of the Rev Thomas William Davies Vicar of Ystalyfera. She was 51 years of age.
It was a tribute to a woman of outstanding and indomitable character whose courage during her long illness and devotion to her faith was an inspiration to all.
The Bishop of Llandaff Swansea and Brecon, the latter represented by the Rev T R Walters-James Vicar of Pontardawe and Rural Dean of East Gower, the Archdeacon of Brecon and other important dignitaries of the Church who were unable to attend, all testified through letters to the great loss the church had suffered by the death of Mrs Davies.
She was a gifted woman and her counsel was much appreciated: Enrolling member of the Mothers' Union; presiding member of East Gower Mothers' Union; Swansea and Brecon Mothers. Union Council member; member of East Gower Rural Deanery and Diocesan Conference.
She also served on the sub executive committee of Breconshire Women's Institute and was active on other spheres.
A native of Clydach, Mrs Davies was a daughter of ex councillor and Mrs Robert Jones the Garage Mond Clydach and sister of Councillor Bert Jones Clydach.
Burial took place at Coedgwilym Cemetery.
Mourners at the funeral: Rev T W Davies husband; Clifford, Richard and John sons; Mr and Mrs J H Jones, Mr and Mrs R J Jones junior; Dr Clifford Jones, Richard Davies, David Thomas brothers, Brothers in law and sisters in law; Gerwyn Jones, Bobby Jones, Margaret Jones, Hugh Thomas, Mr and Mrs Gareth Thomas nephews and nieces.
At the house: Mr and Mrs R J Jones senior parents.

The Llais from Friday 24th June 1960 records his marriage in Llandaff Cathedral, after the death of his first wife a year previous:-

Vicar of Ystalyfera Weds

The Wedding took place on Tuesday of the Rev T W Davies, Vicar of Ystalyfera, and miss Eileen Timothy of Abergwili, Carmarthen.
The ceremony was performed at Llandaff Cathedral
The Very Reverend Uriel Thomas, Dean of Llandaff, performed the ceremony.
The best man was Mr Clifford Davies, the eldest of the bridegroom's three sons who is a student at Swansea University College.
The reception took place at the Park Hotel, Cardiff.
The bride is a Moral Welfare Officer in the Diocese of Saint David's.


Family Details

Margaretta Jessie Jones (born 28th July 1907), daughter of Robert Jones (possibly born 1875) and Elizabeth Jessie Roberts (possibly born 1876).
She married Thomas William Davies, born 9th April 1902. Rita and Thomas William Davies had three sons: Clifford headmaster of the Secondary School Bro Ddyfi at Machynlleth, Richard deputy head of King Henry VIII Grammar School, Abergavenny, and John a partner in a firm of Swansea Accountants
Her brothers were John Horace Jones, born 1906, and Robert Jenkin Jones, born 1910, and her sister was Mary Jones, born 1903.