Dewi Aeron Oct 15th 1949

23 Hill St Aberaman


A great literary figure of his generation

David Griffiths and he lived between 1883 and 1949.He may have been born at a place called Waun Aeron, Llanfyrnach.

Just under seven months ago Dewi Aeron penned an appreciation of the late Mr W.J. Phillips who was his personal friend and little did we think that the time would come soon to pay a similar tribute to his life and work.

Mr David Griffiths of Dewi Aeron as he was known to all certainly demands a great pen than mine to do full justice to his unique qualities. He had undoubtedly one of the finest literary minds of his generation and it is evident that his generation had a great interest in things cultural and spiritual. In the strict metre of the Cynghanedd he was a past master and in the tradition of the great engiynwyrof Wales poets like Trebor Mai Dewi Havesb and others whose names live on in their outstanding creations and whose work form such an integral part of our literary heritage as Welsh People.

Time and time again he was successful on the National Eisteddfod and at the last National at Dolgelly he won outstanding praise for a poem on “The Cottager”. This poem with its special intricate form and theme is likely to become the standard for this class of poetry nothing comparable to it has been attempted for many generations.

Altogether he won nine bardic chairs was third at the National Eisteddfod at Port Talbot and won innumerable first for other works and as always meriting the warmest praise by men of high repute. He also contributed regularly to Welsh periodicals and anything under the name of Dewi Aeron received the place of honour.

His work was stamped out with a lyrical beauty all its own and a crispness that came from a mastery of the Welsh language. Every line that he composed had been through the mill of hard thinking and came out in its finest form as well as its briefest so that there is to be found in his poems a subtlety that has its own charm.

He was a born poet and like ApHefin never tired of perfecting his art. Though he had lived at Aberaman during the greater part of his lifetime he never forgot his beloved Hebron and Glandwr and reflection over his poems show that his inspiration came from the hills and vales and county of South Carmarthen.

He was shy of disposition and chose the quite byways of life and Dewi would not be found in the front rank of any movement although he was ever alive to the struggle of his fellowmen and his works show a burning sympathy for humankind and a righteous indignation at any form of tyranny.

His slowness of gait and speech expressed the “dreamer” but a dreamer who could also interpret his dreams, To be in his company was sheer joy far he was a great conversationalist full of quiet humour equally at home in discussing ordinary things and people and in discerning in a scholarly way the merit  of a modern poem.  Poetry and poets, both English and Welsh were the spice of his life. The Cymmrodorionof Aberdare gave him a rostrum time and again and were privileged to be the first in the audience to hear some of his poems.

Having served most of his life as store-keeper at the Aberaman Co-operatives Stores, he retired on his 65th birthday but it was soon evident that the weakness contracted during his military service in Flanders during the First World War was manifesting itself and his decline became rapid and he passed away peacefully on the night of September 22.
The following day one could read in the leading article of the Tyst a splendid tribute to him by the editor and so passed from our midst the quiet dreamer of beautiful things without show or boast who raised not his voice and yet one who by sheer brilliance of his work had earned a place amongst the immortals of Welsh poetry.

He was buried at the Aberdare Cemetery in the silent company of those who were lifelong friends at Saron, where he also was a faithful member and in the same hallowed ground where lie poets and authors who have brought honour to the name of Aberdare.

Our sincerest sympathy goes out to the widow herself the youngest daughter of the late Rev. O.R. Owen of Glandwr one of Dover of the Welsh pulpit and to all relatives, Glannant Jones.

1846 – 1946
Here were discerning ones who watched
The leaders of the times;
From afar they saw the crowds
Seeking a sanctuary in the valley;
They were the first to discover
The needs of the crowds in the valley
They saw prosperity and its hidden longing
They understood the discontent of a bleak age.
Through unprohibited sacrifice
Here was raised a temple to God
And many a stranger on his unsure feet
Came through the door for sanctuary;
Others it held through long dark nights
To keep the lamp lit within God’s house.
Aberaman Eisteddfod successes 12.06.1913

We congratulate Mr David Griffiths (Dewi Aeron), Cardiff Road, Aberaman, on his (successes at Powys Provincial Eisteddfod on June 12th at Llanfair Caereinion. In translating he won first prize out of 16 competitors, and was also placed second out of 35 competitors in the ode, “Y Cyfddydd” (“The Dawn”).

Aberaman, Mr. David Griffiths (Dewi Aeron) won the prize for an englyn to the late Rev. O. R. Owen, of Liverpool, in an eisteddfod held at Lampeter during the Christmas holidays. Not long since he also shared the prize with Ab Hevin for an englyn on “YrAelwyd.”

Some of the chairs that David Griffith won, they were once at Saron Chapel, Aberaman

Eisteddfod Chair
Eisteddfod Chair; eisteddfod; given to Saron Chapel by David Griffith (Dewi Aeron).

The plaque reads:

“Derbyniwyd, ercof am David Griffith Dewi Aeron 1884 – 1950”

“Eisteddfod CadeinolPenial 1931”

The chair is now at Aberdare Museum

The plaque reads

“Derbyniwyd, ercof am David Griffith (Dewi Aeron) “CadairEisteddfod Trefeglwys 1935.”

“OgwirynErbyn y Byd” carved on chair.

The chair is now at Aberdare Museum

Eisteddfod Chair
Eisteddfod Chair
Eisteddfod Chair 1936

Gadeinol Bethesda “Y DdraigGoch, DdurorCych”

The chair is now at Aberdare Museum

The Funeral

The large gathering at the graveside at Aberdare Cemetery included many members if Saron Congregational Chapel Aberaman as well as the members of Dewi Aeron’s Sunday school class.

In the service at the house the Rev. Glannant Jones (Pastor) was assisted by the Rev. G.R. Tisley M.A. Aberdare and at the graveside by the Rev’s E. Curig Davies B.A. Swansea Secretary of the Welsh Congregational Union, H. P. Hughes, Pendarren. J.T. Rogers Merthyr and Thomas Jones “Erwood”

Tributes in verse were read by the Rev’s G.R. Tilsey M.A. and Mr Edward Thomas, Aberaman followed by the singing of Bydd myrdd o ryfeddodau conducted by Mr J.D. Harris Saron.

Mr David Griffiths (Dewi Aeron) Gravestone
Mr David Griffiths (Dewi Aeron) Gravestone
Also present at the graveside were the Rev’s Irfon G. Jones Bethel Aerwyn Jones, Cwmdare and J. Howard James Hebron Pembrokeshire.

Bearers were Messrs Tom Evans, J.D. Harries, S. Jones, T.A. Edwards, D.R. Phillips, Maldwyn Maddy, Handel Harries and N. Jarvis.

Mourners were Mrs Emily Griffiths, widow, Mr and Mrs Harry Roberts, Pwllheli, sister and brother-in-law Rev. T. Owen, vicar of Abergavenny and Mr Elwyn Owen, London, brothers-in-lawand Miss Gwen Davies friend.There was only one wreath from the widow, Mr Griffiths having requested that there should not be any other floral tributes. Many friends and neighbours were present at the graveside.

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