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Former Recorder of Cardiff's death.

Sir Rhys Rhys-Williams, former Recorder of Cardiff, and Chairman of Glamorgan Quarter Sessions, died in London early today. He was 89.

Lieut.-col. Sir Rhys Rhys-Williams. Bart., D.S.O., Q.C., and his distinguished father, Judge Gwilym Williams, established a record in the administration of justice in the county of Glamorgan. For over 50 years they had presided successively as chairmen of Quarter Sessions. and they had enhanced the reputation of the court by their just and humane administration.

Sir Rhys was not only a lawyer. In World War I, he distinguished himself as a soldier, and was decorated for gallantry. He had also served in Governments departments and had rendered conspicuous service to his native country on many public bodies.

He was the eldest son of Judge Gwilym Williams, Sir Rhys was born in 1865. On his father’s side he was descended from the celebrated scholar, statesman and writer Sir Leoline Jenkins, second founder of Jesus College, Oxford, and on his mother’s side from the Williams’ of Aberpergwm, Neath, one of the oldest families in the county.

Extensive practice.

Educated at Eton and Oriel College, Oxford, Sir Rhys followed his father by making law his profession. He was called to Bar of the Inner Temple in 1890, and for some years practised on the South Wales Circuit. He took silk in 1913. He developed an extensive practice, making rating and licensing law a speciality.

Sir Rhys was appointed a county magistrate when he was only 23 years of age and had been a justice of the peace for more than 50 years. His father was elected chairman of Glamorgan Quarter Sessions in 1887, in the of Queen Victoria’s first jubilee, and served until 1906, when he was succeeded by his son, who held the chair until 1944 the magistrates of the county presented two bronze statuettes, one of Sir Rhys and the other of his father, as a token of appreciation of the fact that between them they had served for more than 50 years as chairman of quarter sessions. More than 300 magistrates subscribed.

Recorder of Cardiff.

A prominent member of Glamorgan County Council. Sir Rhys was created a baronet in 1918, and for many years was chairman of the standing joint committee. He was also Recorder of Cardiff from 1922 to 1930, and at one time was an Assistant Charity Commissioner to inquire into charities in Glamorgan. He was President of the Rhondda Centre Committee of the Order of St. John.

A was a keen sportsman, his principal for many years was big game hunting, which he pursued in many countries Scandinavia, Africa, Russia. The entrance hall of his residence, Miskin Manor, Pontyclun, once had a picturesque collection of his hunting trophies and his collection of antelope heads was one of the finest in existence.

Unfortunately, many of these trophies were destroyed in a disastrous fire at the mansion some years ago. For Years he had taken an abiding interest in the work of the Society for the International Preservation of Big Game, of which he had been honorary secretary.

Trench Warfare.

Early in World War I Sir Rhys obtained a commission in the Grenadier Guards but was transferred to the Welsh Guards when that regiment was formed in 1915. He took a leading part in recruiting for the regiment, and that so many excellent recruits were from Glamorgan was in no small measure due to his vigorous work.

With his battalion in France, he had considerable experience in trench warfare, and was wounded, first in the attack on Hill 70. in which the Welsh Guards took a memorable part. As well as becoming a member of the Distinguished Service Order, he received the Russian decoration of the Order of St. Vladimir, fourth class with swords.

Sir Rhys and Capt. Geoffrey Crawshay were both wounded in the same battle and were taken to the same hospital. Later, Sir Rhys revealed that it was at this hospital he first met the lady who became his wife.
At Teheran.

In December 1915, Sir Rhys was appointed acting military attaché at the British Legation at Teheran and, after two years service, was appointed in 1917 Assistant-Director. General Movements and Railways at the War Office. The following year he was appointed Deputy Director, Staff Duties, at the Admiralty.

From 1918 to 1922 he sat as a Coalition Liberal in the House of Commons as M.P. for Banbury (Oxfordshire). During he was Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Transport. In 1922 he unsuccessfully contested the Pontypridd Division as a National Liberal in a three-cornered fight.

In 1928 he was appointed honorary colonel of the 53rd (Welsh) Divisional Engineers (Territorial Army).

In 1938, by deed poll. Sir Rhys became Sir Rhys, became Sir Rhys Rhys-Williams. There is no special reason for change. "It is only that Williams is so ordinary a name” I am known as Rhys Williams. Both my boys were christened Rhys John Williams, so I thought I would legalise this name."

Elder son killed.

Sir Rhys married Juliette Evangeline Glyn, younger daughter of Clayton Glyn, of Harlow, and Elinor Glyn, the novelist. They had two sons and two daughters. The elder son, Lieut. Glyn David Rhys- Williams, Welsh Guards was killed in action in Tunisia April 1943.

Lady Rhys Rhys-Williams. who is well-known for her public work, especially in maternal and child welfare, is a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire. She unsuccessfully contested a by-election in the Pontypridd Division as a National Liberal in 1938.

The picturesque mansion of Miskin Manor. which has on several occasions been visited by members of the Royal Family, was erected by the famous (David Williams) Alaw Goch, father of Judge Gwilym Williams. on the site of a much older house. which had for long been a seat of an old Glamorgan family the Bassetts. The heir to the baronetcy is the younger son, Brandon Meredith Rhys-Williams, aged 27.

31/01/1955 By "Westminster"

Memories of two famous Welshmen. Alaw Goch and Gwilym Williams, are recalled by the death of an equally great Welshman, Sir Rhys Rhys-Williams, of Eaton Square and Miskin Manor, Alaw Goch, coal-owner.

Eisteddfodwr and poet was Sir Rhys's grandfather and Gwilym Williams, Judge, Eisteddfodwr Cymmrodor and sportsman, his father. The judge died in 1906, 43 years after he inherited Miskin Manor which has been so much in the news recently owing to Sir Rhys Rhys-Williams's controversy with the local hospital authorities. Sir Rhys was as proud of his grandfather as of his father and was responsible for publishing the delightful volume of Alaw Goch's very human verse.

One of the memories of Alaw Goch concerns the great Eisteddfod at Aberdare in 1861 when the pavilion was blown down in a tremendous storm. Alaw Goch came to the assistance of the Eisteddfod authorities. Saving them from a financial disaster he won for himself a national testimonial.

A volume could be written about Judge Gwilym Williams, his work in the county courts of Glamorgan and the reforms he instituted. It was he who secured the abolition of kissing the Bible. At Bridgend County Court, he saw a man who obviously had a serious skin infection taking the oath in the old-fashioned way. After inquiring what the man was suffering from Judge Gwilym Williams ordered Mr. Registrar Lewis to destroy the Bible and buy a new one.

He brought the matter at once before the Lord Chancellor and the practice of kissing the Bible was discontinued. He also brought common sense into workmen's compensation administration, refusing on one occasion to insist on a man returning to work underground after he had been the victim of a serious accident.
Sir Rhys Rhys-Williams 17/01/1945

The Deputy Chief Scout (Sir Percy Everett) has awarded to Sir Rhys Rhys-Williams, Bt., K.C., D.S.O., the Medal of Merit in recognition of his services to the Scout movement over a period of years.
Sir Rhys, who is District Commissioner for Miskin, has taken a keen interest in the movement for many years and part of his estate, at Miskin has been used as a training camp for officers.


Late Sir Rhys Rhys-Williams, Bt. The cremation of Lieut-col Sir Rhys Rhys-Williams, Bart. will take place privately at St. Marylebone Crematorium. London. today. A memorial service is to be held at the Guards' Chapel tomorrow at three p.m., and on Saturday at 230 p.m. the ashes will be interred in the family Brave at Miskin Church, Pontyclun.

Memorial Service to Sir Rhys Rhys-Williams.
Battle of the Guards Recalled.

That the London memorial service for Sir Rhys Rhys-Williams Bart, should be held at the Guards' Chapel of Wellington Barracks is highly appropriate. It was his proudest distinction to be a Guardsman, to have played some part behind the scenes in bringing about the representation of Wales in the Household Forces and to have been one of the earliest officers of the Welsh Guards.

When I inquired at Headquarters today about his association with the regiment, I was told that his records were destroyed in the “blitz" (which also gutted the Guards' Chapel), that in November 1916, he was awarded the D.S.O. for his gallantry with the Welsh Guards and that he resigned his commission as Lieutenant-colonel in March 1920. By his death lively controversy about the creation of the Welsh Guards in 1915 is recalled. Sir William Davies, Mr. Aubrey Rees, the Welsh barrister, and Owen Rhoscomyl, the writer, became active about it in February of that year against strong opposition from some military high-ups.

"Wales has the Grenadiers." they said. "What more does she want? If we form a Welsh Guards, how can we fill the Grenadiers? "That was the view at first of Sir Francis Lloyd, the CO. of the London district and the man who created the Welsh division in the Haldane Territorial Army. The cause seemed lost when David Lloyd George mentioned it to King George V. at Buckingham Palace.

"Of course we must have a Welsh Guards Regiment." he said. The order was given, and Sir Francis Lloyd threw himself heartily into the task of raising it. He paraded the Grenadier, and within two hours had 297 non-commissioned officers and men all of them with Welsh Qualifications. By April the first battalion was at full strength.

The memorial service for Lieut.-col. Sir Rhys Rhys-Williams Bart., D.S.O. Q.C., D.L. of Eaton square, London, and Miskin Manor. near Cardiff, took place at the Royal Military Chapel Wellington Barracks, yesterday, it was held there in tribute to his services as an officer in the Welsh Guards and his continued interest in the regiment alter his retirement. The Guards regiments and many public bodies and movements were strongly represented.

It was in accordance with his wishes that the strains of “Cwm Rhondda” and “Hen Wlad fy Nhadau" were heard during the service, the famous hymn tune at the beginning and the Welsh National Anthem between Reveille and the National Anthem at the end. The service was conducted by the Rev. K. C. Oliver. Chaplain to the Household Brigade and Assistant Chaplain-General.

Family mourners included: Lady Rhys Rhys-Williams (widow); Sir Brandon Rhys Williams (son); Sir Geoffrey and Lady Davson (son-in-law and daughter); Miss Elspeth Rhys Williams (daughter); Miss Carolina Dayton (granddaughter); Margot Lady Daemon (sister-in-law): Mrs. Arthur Williams (sister-in-law), Miss. Anne Williams, Major and Mrs. Eldyr Williams, Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Shaw, Mr. Christopher Davson, Col., and Mrs. William Rankin, Mrs. Olwen O’Donnell, Col. and the Hon. Mrs. H. M. Davon, Col. Leo Williams, Miss C. W. Dixon, Miss Elizabeth Davson, and Lieut-col Mervyn Williams.

Others present were: Mr. Duncan Sandys, M.P., Minister of Housing and Local Government, Major J. M. Miller, Regimental Adjutant Welsh Guards (representing the Commanding Officer), Sir Alexander Stanier, Brigadier Douglas Copland Griffiths, Brigadier Douglas Greenacre, Lieut-col. A. A. Duncan, Major L. F. Ellis, Capt. H. W. J. Powell, Capt. J. O. de Salis, the Earl and Countess of Halsbury, Sir Geoffrey and Lady Cater, Maureen H. W. Gray, Lady Dorothy Macmillan, (representing Mr. Harold Macmillan, M.P. Minister of Defence), Lord and Lady Layton, Sir Cecil and Lady Kish, Gen. George Lindsey, and Mrs. Lindsey, Mr. L. M. Amery, Major and Lady Honor Llewellyn, Brigadier-gen. Sir H, Osbourne Mance, Sir Geoffrey Byass (also representing Lady Byass), Lady Llewellyn, Sir Donald Anderson, Col. Sir William Makins, Col. and Mrs. D. M. C. Prichard, Mr. Trevor Hunter, Q.C. (representing the Welsh Circuit).

Judge E. M. Konstam, Mrs. Rodney Forestier-Walker (also representing Mr. R. Forestier-Walker), Judge L. C. Thomas, Mr. Williams Penman, and Miss D. V. (representing the National Birthday Trust Fund and Mr. and Mrs. Francis Carver). Mr. James (London editor of the "Western Mail," also representing Sir Robert Webber, managing director of “Western Mail & Echo Ltd). Mr. Charles Pugh (representing Mr. David Prosser, editor of the ''Western Mail"), Mr. W. F. Marr and Mr. A. P. Lloyd (representing Messrs. Blundell Boker and Co.) Mrs. Brian Warren, Mr. John Biggs-Davison (India, Civil Service).

Lady Theodosia Cadogan, Dowager Lady Rayleigh, Commander A V. Thomas, Capt. D. Herepath, Mrs. H. R. Beaumont, Miss Kathleen Paget, Col. A. Kingsmill, (also representing Hall’s Brewery), (also representing ind. Coope and Allsop), Mr. D. C. Maxwell (representing Hall’s Brewery), Mrs. Charles Waddington, Mr. P. J. Lachelin, Mrs. Hill (Lady Rhys Williams secretary), Miss A. Mackensie, Major F. S. Emmanuel, Mr. H. E. Fearn. Mr. A. Heriot, Mr. E. Beddington Behrens, Mr. W. Price, Major M. C. Thursby-Pelham, Mrs. F. L. Neago, Mr, Edward Thompson, Mr. Hubert Merdith, (representing Philip Hall, Higginson, and Co.) Mr. J. G. Lowe, the Rev. P. Mcloughin (rector of St. Anne’s School), the Rev. Harold of Goodwin, Miss G. M. Dean, Mrs. L. Duffell, Mr. D. H. Whitney, and Miss Dorothy Reece.


The ashes of Sir Rhys Rhys-Williams Bart. will be interred in the family grave at Miskin Church Pontyclun, at 2.30 today.

The death of Sir Rhys Rhys-Williams, Bt. has broken a link of three generations with the legal circles in Glamorgan. Sir Rhys’s father, the late Judge Gwilym Williams County-court judge, was for 50 years chairman of the Glamorgan Quarter Sessions. Sir Rhys himself was chairman for 38 years. His daughter, Lady Davson, is a barrister and often appears in the Cardiff Law Courts where her father has presided over the bench and where her grandfather is commemorated by a statue on the lawns in front of the building.

Debt of Regiment to One Family 14/03/1955

Members of the East Glamorgan branch of the Welsh Guards Comrades' Association. who held their annual dinner at Pontypridd on Saturday night, stood in silent tribute to the late Col. Sir Rhys Rhys-Williams. Bt., who was of the branch (or many years.

His son, Lieut. Sir Brandon Rhys-Williams. of the Welsh Guards, was elected to succeed him as president. Sir Brandon said he was very conscious of the tradition his lather had set. He was glad to see so many serving officers present. It showed that the regiment had not forgotten them, and they had not forgotten the regiment.
Great debt.

He was also glad to see representatives of other branches of the Welsh Guards Comrades' Association present. Lieut.-col. Tudor James. commanding officer of the 2nd Glamorgan Home Guard, who proposed the toast of “The Regiment” referred to the death in North Africa of Capt. Glyn Rhys Williams, son of Col. Sir Rhys Williams.

Capt. Glyn Rhys Williams. who was adjutant to the battalion. led almost the last attack, he said. The regiment owed a great debt to this illustrious family. Col. D. G. Davies-Scourfield, M.C., officer commanding the Welsh Guards, responded to the toast of “The Regiment" who also proposed the toast to the East Glamorgan branch. He was delighted, he said, that Sir Brandon had agreed to take over the duties of president of the branch. The first battalion had a very promising and keen lot of boxers and were very hopeful of winning the Army boxing cup competition in Egypt this year in which they were runners-up last year, he added.

Recruitment Rise.

Their Recruiting figure of the regular recruits had steadily gone from 130 in 1948 to 256. The important thing now was to try and get the right person to stay in the Army for more than three years. The regiment depended a great deal on the publicity and support and provincial Press in Wales gave to the regiment and its functions. He would like to thank them. Mr. Thomas D. Watkins secretary of the East Glamorgan branch responded, Mr. David Evans, chairman of the branch presided.

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