George Maitland Lloyd Davies

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George Maitland Lloyd Davies (30 April 1880 – 16 December 1949), formerly George Maitland Temple Davies, was a Welsh pacifist and Member of Parliament for the University of Wales.

Davies was born in Peel Road, Sefton Park, Liverpool,[1][2] grandson on maternal side of a noted Welsh preacher, John Jones, Talysarn;[1] 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 manager's post in Wrexham in 1908.[1] He later sought a complete change and took up agricultural work, then in 1913 went on to be secretary of a housing scheme, the Welsh Planning and Housing Trust,[1]

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 with the Royal Welsh Fusiliers while working at Wrexham.[1] At the end of 1913 he took up full-time paid work for the Fellowship of Reconciliation[1] and by early 1914 he came to realise that military force was incompatible with his deepening Christian devotion, and resigned. He became the Secretary of the newly formed Fellowship of Reconciliation. In that capacity, a military service tribunal allowed him conscientious objector exemption in 1916. He first worked in an FoR home for disturbed children, trying to put into practice his belief in the goodness of human nature. Then he went to work on sheep farms in the hills of Llyn. The exemption was withdrawn when he began regularly to preach pacifism in the market place, and in due course he was arrested, handed over to the military, court-martialled (in a depot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 between 1917 and 1919. After the war he worked for a time at Gregynog, for the Misses Davies.

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, serving as pastor in Tywyn and Maethlon between 1926 and 1930.[1] He left to take up work among the unemployed in Rhosllannerchrugog and Brynmawr, and then settled in the Quaker community at Maes-yr-Haf in the Rhondda Valley.[1] 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.[citation needed]

In 1946 he settled in north Wales at Dolwyddelan, and he continued to preach outdoors despite deteriorating health.[1] He suffered from depression throughout his life, and in 1949 he took his own life in Denbigh Hospital.[citation needed] He was buried at Dolwyddelan.[1]

He married on 5 February 1916, at Finchley, London, Leslie Eleanor Royde-Smith, sister of author Naomi Royde-Smith, and had a daughter, Jane Hedd.[1]

Davies was the author of various books in Welsh, including'Perindod Heddwch' and 'Profiadau Pellach', about his ministry, and Atgofion Talysarn about his family, and several volumes in English. 'A Pilgrimage of Peace' was posthumously published in 1950. George's brother, John Glyn Davies, was a poet and author.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l [1] Dictionary of Welsh Biography.
  2. ^ GRO Index of Births registered in April, May, and June 1880, page 141
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Thomas Arthur Lewis
Member of Parliament for University of Wales
19231924
Succeeded by
Ernest Evans