Death of Trecynon ex-schoolmaster
Mr Ben Davies, 56 Llewelyn St, Trecynon died after a short stay as a patient at the hospital aged 78, was a retired schoolmaster, having been trained at Bangor Normal College 1915-17, and later taken a year’s special course at Oxford University.
Mr Benjamin Griffiths Davies was the son of well-known residents in the district. His father the late John Davies (Pen Dar) was a regular contributor to the “Aberdare Leader,” and his local history articles were very popular. His mother was the late Mrs. Martha Jane Davies, who was a helpful neighbour especially to friends in need. Ben is mourned by his only brother, David aged 83, who lives in Hornchurch, Essex, and who has been incapacitated for many years at his home, and also by two sisters-in-law, Mrs Mary Emma Davies (Haverfordwest) and Mrs Mary Davies (London) as well as by nieces and nephews.
Ben Davies was an elder of the Cardiff monthly meeting at the Society of Friends, and was held in high esteem by his fellow members. He often represented friends in conferences and meetings in Friends’ House, London. The presence of so many friends at the funeral was an indication of the high regard they had for him.
He was well-known locally, apart from his professional capacity. He was an officer and a prominent member of the former Teachers’ Dramatic Society, and the County Schools’ Past Students’ Association Dramatic Society. He was president in 1933 of the old Aberdare Association of the N.U.T. He was also chairman of the committee of the Trecynon Public Hall and Institute Committee for many years and served as adjudicator of English competitions at local eisteddfodau and also as drama adjudicator.
Ben Davies retired from teaching in 1961 after serving successfully as a headmaster of Ysgol Comin from 1950-1961. Previously he had taught at schools in Hirwaun and Cwmbach before a period of nearly 20 years as geography master at Ynyslwyd Central School. Many of his former pupils will testify to his good and kind influence on them during their school days.
During his short illness he was nursed by his sister-in-law, Mary Davies, who is also a sister if Mr. Alfred Allen, formerly of the Town Hall staff. Mrs. Davies faced a difficult period of uncertainty during his illness and Ben was always grateful devotion and care shown by her, and by the many neighbours and friends who knew him so well.
Cremation took place at Llwydcoed Crematorium. The service was conducted by Mr. William Davies (Neath), another elder of the Society of Friends. The service as behoves the Society, was conducted in silence, with brief references by William Davies to Ben’s character and high ideals, and also by Mr Hedley Dennis, Abercynon. There was a reading by Mrs. Irene Protheroe from the writing of the Quaker, William Penn, and a prayer by Mr. John Dennithorn (Merthyr Tydfil). The Rev. Glannant Jones (Aberaman) also spoke briefly as a long-standing minister in the locality.
Family mourners: Martha Griffiths, Browen Griffiths, cousins, Mary Emma Davies and Mary Davies sisters-in-law, Ron and Sybil Rees, Timothy and Sonia Coy, nieces and nephews James Griffiths, nephew.
The bearers were Messrs. F. T. Davies, A. D. Thomas, Morgan Phillips, Idwal Rees representing the Cynon valley Association of the N.U.T.D. John Munday and Emrys Jenkins (neighbours).
There was a large congregation at the crematorium chapel, which included Messrs. Warren Lewis (Penarth), and Horace James (Society of Friends’ members).
Others present included T. A. Edwards, D. H. Davies, Walter Pontin, W. I. Jones, Selwyn Jones, W. R. Thomas, M. Hutton, Llewelyn Jones, Rev. and Mrs. Victor Davies, Miss Winifred Rees, B.A., Mrs Dorothy Scheaf, B.A., Mrs Alice Howells, Alwyn Whitmarsh, John Evans, Mr and Idris Davies, Glyndwr Griffiths (Editor of “Aberdare Leader”) Alwyn Evans, Edith Evans H.Sc, Miss A.M. Rees B.A., Mrs E. Evans, Mr and Mr R. Beaman, John B. Roberts, Byron Newman, John W. Lace, H. J. Phelps, Malcolm James, Mrs R. Cooper, Mr and Mrs A. Power, Mrs E. Owen, Mrs Self. Gran Davies, W. Spencer Love, E. Evans, Mrs G. Wyles, Mrs Morgan Stevens, Trefor Jones, John Griffiths, J. Glyndwr Williams (Dinas), J.E. Williams, M. Bound, C. Prince, D. King Evans, B.A., M. Ludlow, Gus Jenkins, O. J. Williams, Mervyn Prowle, Luther James, D. H. Davies, Howard Sweet, Glyn Voyle, T. R. Jones B.sc, L.R.A.M. (Brynmawr), D.T. Evans, Rev. Gordon James, B.A., The Rev. Father Reed (Roath), formerly of Abercwmboi, Johnny T. Davies, Gwilym Williams B. Sc., T. M. Morgan, James Burke, Michael Burke, Sam and Irene Protheroe, William Lewis (Trealaw), William K. Thomas, Thomas N. Thomas, Cliff Williams, John W. Jarvis, W. J. Owen, Evan Jones, Anne Davies, O. Jones, R. K. Lewis, A. J. Howells, D. T. Davies, O. V. Jones, E. J. Jones, A Howells and John Thomas (Dinas Cross).
The family sincerely apologise for any omissions. Friends and relatives unable to attend, were David brother, Ron and Evelyn Davies, Betty Farr, Eira Tildsley, John and Sybil Shaw, nephews and nieces, Mr. and Mrs E. Parry Lewis (Trecynon), Miss E. P. Frayne (Exeter) and Mrs. Bessie Davies, neighbour.
The members of the family wish to express their sincere thanks to the neighbours who have so faithfully helped Ben in recent years, to the friends who have so kindly sent messages of sympathy, and to the congregation at the chapel, who came to show their respect for a friend and colleague.
They would also like to express their appreciation to the Society of Friends. Thanks also extended to the nurses and staff of the Aberdare General Hospital for their kind attention to Ben.
The funeral arrangements were by Mr. Howells, director of the Aberdare and District Co-operative Society.
A member of the Society of Friends has sent this note to the “Leader.”
“An old Quaker’s conception of man’s life on this planet ‘I shall pass through this world but once. Any good thing therefore that I can do, or any kindness I can show any fellow creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not ass this way again.’”
“This I think would be an appropriate tribute to Ben, who made an attempt to fulfil the old Quaker’s saying.”
(Mr. Ben Davies did a great deal of humanitarian work in the Trecynon and Gadlys district during the industrial depression, and sometimes personally aided members of the famous Cadbury and Fry families and by the late Mr. George M. Ll. Davies, Trealaw).