Thomas, David

Welsh socialist and educationalist, born at Llanfechain, Montgomeryshire, on 16 July 1880. His education at Oswestry Grammar School was curtailed after one term because of family poverty. After a decade as an unqualified teacher in Wales and England, he held posts as a certificated teacher in North Wales. During World War I he was a conscientious objector and was placed in agricultural work. A committed Socialist, he laboured energetically as Honorary Organizer of the Independent Labour Party to establish branches in North Wales and argued the case for Socialism in debate and in the press. His ideas were expounded in his two books on Socialism, Y Werin a 'i Theyrnas ('The Common Folk and their Kingdom', 1910) and Y Ddinasyddiaeth Fawr ('The Great Citizenship', 1938). An important part of his Socialism was his involvement in the Workers' Educational Association, of whose North Wales District he became Life-President. He founded and for many years edited Lleufer ('Illumination'), a magazine intended for Welsh-speaking members of the WEA, but which had a much wider readership. Raised a Wesleyan, he remained a faithful though not always orthodox Methodist. He received an honorary MA from the University of Wales in 1960 and died on 27 June 1967.

  • Angharad Tomos, Hiraeth am Yfory (2002)
  • Lionel Madden (ed.), Methodism in Wales (2003), pp.121-5
  • Dictionary of Welsh Biography


Entry written by: LM
Category: Person
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