George Maitland Lloyd Davies
Davies was born in Wales, the grandson of a noted Welsh preacher, John Jones, Talysarn; his family was wealthy - his cousin was David Davies, a Welsh industrial and political magnate. At 24 he became secretary of a Liverpool bank; when his health demanded a temporary rest, he was sent with a large salary to a post in Wrecsam. He later sought a complete change and took up agricultural work, then went on to be secretary of a housing scheme, and warden of a home for disturbed children, trying to put into practice his belief in the goodness of human nature.
As a Liberal non-conformist he disparaged the National Service League's demand for conscription, and believed the answer was to volunteer militarily, so he took an officer's commission in the Territorial Army. By early 1914, however, he came to realise that military force was incompatible with his deepening Christian devotion, and resigned. When the First World War began soon afterwards, he withdrew to sheep farming in the hills of Carnarvonshire. In that capacity, a military service tribunal allowed him conscientious objector exemption in 1916, but the exemption was withdrawn when he began regularly to preach pacifism in the market place, and in due course he was arrested, handed over to the military, court-martialled (in a depot where he had previously commanded troops) and imprisoned.
In 1923 he was elected Member of Parliament for the University of Wales, as an Independent Christian Pacifist, but after the election took the Labour whip, although he never joined any political party. In 1924, standing again as an Independent Christian Pacifist candidate, he lost the seat to the Liberal Ernest Evans. Thereafter Davies became a Calvinistic Methodist (Presbyterian) minister in Tywyn. In 1939 he became President of the pacifist organisation, Heddychwyr Cymru, closely associated with the Peace Pledge Union, of which he served as Chair 1946-1949.
He suffered from depression throughout his life, and in 1949 he took his own life in Denbigh Hospital.
George's brother, John Glyn Davies, was a poet and author.
- "Welsh election surprise", Daily News, 15 Dec 1923
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
Thomas Arthur Lewis
|Member of Parliament for University of Wales
1923 – 1924