Alun Talfan Davies

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Sir Alun Talfan Davies QC (22 July 1913 – 11 November 2000) was a Welsh judge, publisher and Liberal politician.


Alun Talfan Davies was born at Gorseinon near Swansea, the youngest son of the Calvinistic Methodist minister William Talfan Davies (1873–1938) and his wife Alys, née Jones (1878–1948). He was the brother of Aneirin Talfan Davies.[1][2] He was educated at Gowerton grammar school. He read law at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, and at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. In 1942, he married Eiluned Christopher Williams. He had one son and three daughters.[3] In 1969 his daughter Janet married the Welsh Rugby international Barry John. He died at his home in Penarth on 1 November 2000.

Legal career[edit]

Davies entered Gray's Inn and qualified as a barrister just before the outbreak of World War II. As a barrister he specialised in industrial cases and was retained by the National Union of Mineworkers.[4][5] He was appointed as a QC in 1961.[3]

Davies was a counsel to the public enquiry into Aberfan tip disaster of 1966.[6] From 1967 to 1990 he was Chairman of the Trustees of the Aberfan Fund, which allocated the money raised by public subscription following the disaster.[5]

Davies sat as a recorder (a part-time circuit judge) from 1963 to 1972 and as a full-time circuit judge from 1972 to 1986.[5][7]

Legal appointments:[5]

Political activity[edit]

During the 1930s, Davies had been a member of Plaid Cymru, but he left the party for the Liberal Party and became the chairman of the Liberal Party of Wales.[5]

Davies stood four times for parliament without success. He was an independent candidate at the University of Wales by-election, 1943. At the 1959 general election he stood against Lady Megan Lloyd George in Carmarthen for the Liberals and again in 1964. In 1966 he switched to Denbigh but was once more unsuccessful.

Davies was a member of the Royal Commission on the Constitution from 1969 to 1973.

Electoral record[edit]

University of Wales by-election, 1943
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal William John Gruffydd 3,098 52.3 -9.0
Plaid Cymru John Saunders Lewis 1,330 22.5 N/A
Independent Alun Talfan Davies 755 12.8 N/A
Independent Labour Evan Davies 634 10.7 N/A
Independent Labour Neville Lawrence Evans 101 1.7 N/A
Majority 1,768 29.8 +7.2
Turnout 5,918 53.4 -9.0
Liberal hold Swing N/A
General Election 1959: Carmarthen[8]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Lady Megan Arfon Lloyd George 23,399 47.9 +5.16
Liberal Alun Talfan Davies 16,766 34.3 -15.2
Conservative JB Evans 6,147 12.6 n/a
Plaid Cymru Hywel Heulyn Roberts 2,545 5.2 -6.3
Majority 6,633 13.6 +6.8
Turnout 48,857 85.4 +0.3
Labour hold Swing +10.2
General Election 1964: Carmarthen[9]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Lady Megan Arfon Lloyd George 21,424 45.5 -2.4
Liberal Alun Talfan Davies 15,210 32.3 -2.0
Plaid Cymru Gwynfor Richard Evans 5,495 11.7 +6.4
Conservative Mrs. HE Protheroe-Beynon 4,996 10.6 -2.0
Majority 6,214 13.2 -0.4
Turnout 47,122 84.4 -0.9
Labour hold Swing -0.2
General Election 1966: Denbigh [10][11]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative William Geraint Oliver Morgan 17,382 39.4 -1.9
Liberal Alun Talfan Davies 12,725 28.9 -1.8
Labour Edward Griffiths 11,305 25.6 +5.5
Plaid Cymru Gwilym Meredith Edwards 2,695 6.1 -1.8
Majority 4,657 10.6 -0.1
Turnout 44,107 80.61 +0.1
Conservative hold Swing -0.05

Cultural activities[edit]

In 1940, with his brother Aneirin Talfan Davies, Davies founded the Welsh language publishing firm Llyfrau'r Dryw (cy) (later taken over by Sir Alun's son, Christopher Davies and taking his name). In 1958 they co-published Y Geiriadur Mawr (cy), an influential Welsh dictionary. In 1969 they founded the current affairs magazine Barn.[5]

With a group of friends and acquaintances Davies formed Harlech Television (later HTV) which made a successful bid for the Wales and West independent television franchise, displacing the incumbent TWW in 1967. Davies persuaded Lord Harlech to become chairman of HTV Group while Davies became vice-chairman. Davies was chairman of the Welsh board from 1967 to 1973.[5]

Davies was an active supporter of the National Eisteddfod of Wales and was President of the Court from 1979 to 1982.[5]

In 1980 he co-founded the Welsh Portrait Sculpture Trust which commissioned a series of portrait busts of distinguished Welshmen from the sculptor Ivor Roberts-Jones. In 1982 he became a trustee of the Welsh Sculpture Trust which established an outdoor sculpture collection in Margam Country Park.[12]

Other appointments and honours[edit]


  • Davies, Alun Talfan (1959). The casualties of industry : a plea for justice for miners (First ed.). Llandybie, Carmarthenshire: Christoper Davies. OCLC 315843373. 
  • Davies, Alun Talfan (1959). The casualties of industry : a plea for justice for miners (Second ed.). Carmarthenshire: Radical Publication. OCLC 502402484. 


  1. ^ "Papurau Aneirin Talfan Davies". Archives Wales. Retrieved 16 September 2016. 
  2. ^ "Davies, Aneirin Talfan". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/61274.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  3. ^ a b "DAVIES, Sir Alun Talfan". Who Was Who. Retrieved 16 September 2016. (subscription required)
  4. ^ "Papurau Syr Alun Talfan Davies". Archives Wales (in Welsh). Retrieved 16 September 2016. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Lives in Brief". The Times. London. 28 December 2000. p. 19. 
  6. ^ "Witnesses examined by each Counsel at Tribunal of Inquiry". Aberfan Disaster Archive. Retrieved 16 September 2016. 
  7. ^ "Welsh Judge". The Guardian. 14 January 1972. p. 1. 
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ Kimber, Richard. "UK General Election results 1966". Political Science Resources. Retrieved 14 April 2016. 
  11. ^ [1]
  12. ^ Black, Jonathan; Ayres, Sara (2013). Abstraction and reality : the sculpture of Ivor Roberts-Jones. London: Wilson Publishers. p. 33. ISBN 1781300100. 
  13. ^ "New Year Honours". The Guardian. 2 January 1976. p. 9. 

External links[edit]