Dr Elwyn Williams of Cardiff Papers

Scope and Content

Original and transcript of a diary kept by Dr Williams.

Administrative / Biographical History

Dr Elwyn Williams (1903-1973) was born in Swansea where his father William Harries Williams (1870-1928) worked at the retail store, Ben Evans Ltd. Following a stroke in 1913 his father moved the family to Clydach-on-Tawe and opened a drapery business. In 1919 his mother, a school teacher, died aged 49, a victim of the 'Spanish flu' epidemic. Williams attended Ystalyfera Grammar School and afterwards gained a place at University College London, the first student from Swansea Valley to do so. He graduated in 1926 and gained the position of junior master at Cardiff High School for Boys. In 1952 he became Deputy Headmaster, in all he spent 41 years at the school. In 1932 he married Mary Lewis and they moved to Rumney.

In 1940 Williams was an Air Raid Warden in Rumney. Following the establishment of the Rumney Home Guard in 1941 or 1942 he was appointed 2-i-c of an Anti-Aircraft Battery, that was stationed on Penylan Hill, to defend the northern approaches to the Docks and Power Station.

Despite studying English at University and teaching it at Cardiff High School where one of his pupils was John Humphrys, the well-known broadcaster and journalist, his first interest was history. He had various articles published in the Army Quarterly and Y Cymrodorion and he also published a short history of the Poor Law in Rumney. He was for many years a book reviewer with the Western Mail. But his more substantive works: a History of Rumney; a biography of General Nott of Kandahar and his account of military uniforms in the 16th-19th centuries never made it beyond manuscript form. Williams also developed an interest in tracing surnames. After many years of study he wrote up his research notes and sent them to University College London, they awarded him a PhD.

Conditions Governing Access

No restrictions.

Acquisition Information

Deposited by the son of Dr Williams, who compiled the transcript.

Other Finding Aids

A detailed catalogue is available at Glamorgan Archives.

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

Good condition

Archivist's Note

Compiled by Hannah Price for Glamorgan Archives, with reference to information supplied by the depositor. Revised by Michael Wilcox.

Conditions Governing Use

Normal Glamorgan Archives conditions apply.

Appraisal Information

All records which meet the collection policy of Glamorgan Archives have been retained.

Custodial History

The records remained in the custody of the depositor until transferred to Glamorgan Archives.


Accruals are possible.