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Pennar Davies

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William Thomas Pennar Davies (12 November 1911 – 29 December 1996) was a Welsh clergyman and author.[1]

Born William Thomas Davies, in Mountain Ash, the son of a miner, he took the name "Pennar" (a stream in Mountain Ash and the root of its Welsh name Aberpennar) "as a sign of his identification with the native culture of Wales".[2] Pennar Davies studied at University of Wales, Cardiff, at Balliol and Mansfield College, Oxford, and at Yale University. In 1943 he became a Congregational minister in Cardiff. He was subsequently professor of Church History at Bala-Bangor Theological College and Brecon Congregational Memorial College, was Principal of Brecon Congregational Memorial College from 1950 and Principal of Swansea Memorial College from 1959 until his retirement in 1979.[3]

Davies wrote poetry under the pseudonym Davies Aberpennar. Until about 1948 he wrote in both Welsh and English, and after this almost exclusively in Welsh, which he had learnt as a young man.[2]

A member of Plaid Cymru, he was co-opted onto its Pwyllgor Gwaith Cenedlaethol at Easter 1947,[4] Literary Editor of the party's monthly newspaper, The Welsh Nationalist" from March 1947 [5] and its Editor from April 1949 [6] During this period, the newspaper published new poetry by Idris Davies and R.S. Thomas [7] Davies stood as a Parliamentary candidate at Llanelli in the UK general elections of 1964 and the 1966. He was a leading campaigner for Welsh language broadcasting.

Pennar Davies and his wife Rosemarie had five children. His eldest son Dr Meirion Pennar, became a leading Welsh language academic, poet and translator.[8]



  • Cinio'r Cythraul (1946)
  • Naw Wfft (1957)
  • Yr Efrydd o Lyn Cynon (1961)
  • Y Tlws yn y Lotws (1971)

Short stories

  • Caregl Nwyf (1966)


  • Meibion Darogan (1968)
  • Mabinogi Mwys (1979)


  • Rhwng Chwedl a Chredo (1966)


  1. ^ Huw Ethall – Pennar Davies – Y Dyn a'i Waith. Eisteddfod Genedlaethol Cymru, 1998 (Welsh)
  2. ^ a b Stephens, Meic (2 Jan 2017). "Obituary: Pennar Davies". The Independent. London.
  3. ^ Morgan, D. Densil. "Davies, William Thomas (Pennar) (1911–1996), novelist, poet, theologian and scholar". Dictionary of Welsh Biography. Retrieved 5 March 2017.
  4. ^ The Welsh Nationalist, May 1947
  5. ^ The Welsh Nationalist, March 1947, p.4
  6. ^ The Welsh Nation (q.v.) May 1949
  7. ^ July 1944, November 1944, November 1946, September 1947, November 1947
  8. ^ "Poet and Welsh works translator Meirion Pennar dies". BBC Wales. 17 December 2010. Retrieved 2010-12-19.
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Pennar Davies
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