Dai Dan Evans (Abercraf)

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

National Council of Labour Colleges (NCLC) lecture notes, undated (c1948); typescript of lecture concerning trade unionism, undated (c1950); correspondence concerning coal mines and mining 1951 and 1965; photocopy of newspaper interview with Dai Dan Evans 1963; edited transcript of interview with Dai Dan Evans and others, undate (c1970); memorial pamphlet for Dai Dan Evans 1974.

Administrative / Biographical History

Dai Dan Evans was born in 1898 in Abercrave. He left school aged 14 in order to work in the mines. When he was 16, Dai Dan volunteered for the army but was turned down because of his age. A couple of years later he registered as a conscientious objector. During the following 15 years Dai Dan moved pit 13 times and even emigrated to Canada at one stage in order to look for work in the lignite mines of Alberta. However he was imprisoned for 6 months after trying to illegally cross the border into the USA and was deported in 1926.

Dai Dan Evans joined the Independant Labour Party in 1916. After World War One he attended evening classes run by the National Council of Labour Colleges, meeting the Marxist scholar Nun Nicholas who was to be a great influence on him. Dai Dan became a Marxist and joined the Communist Party, remaining an active member for the rest of his life.

During the 1930s Dai Dan was elected a lodge secretary and chairman of the combine of lodges in the pits owned by the Amalgamated Anthracite Company. In 1934 he gained a seat on the rank-and-file Exectutive of the South Wales Miners' Federation. He was a Miners' Agent in the Anthracite district 1937-1943; Chief Administrative Officer at the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) in Cardiff 1943-1958 and its Vice-President from 1953. In 1958 he was elected General Secretary of the NUM (South Wales Area), retiring from the position in 1963. Dai Dan Evans died in 1974.

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