Edward Ogwen Williams
E. Ogwen Williams was born in 1871 in Bangor, Caernarvonshire. He taught at the Boys’ County School from 1898 until 1932. He also took an active role in the affairs of the town where he was a member of the AUDC and a deacon at Bethania Welsh Calvinistic Methodist chapel in Wind Street.
He was educated in Bangor at the Garth (British) Elementary School, and at the Normal Training College, 1893-94. He began his career at Maenan Elementary School, Llanrwst, 1894-95, and St Paul’s Elementary School, Bangor, 1895-98.
His appointment to the County School in Aberdare followed and commenced at the beginning of the 1898-99 academic year. He was the fourth assistant master to be appointed, and was engaged to teach geography throughout the school. He also taught choral music, preparing the school choir for performances at the Certificate Ceremonies1. He also taught Woodwork and Art in the evening class provision at the school.
In his capacity as a teacher of geography he wrote two textbooks2,3 for pupils in lower school classes published in 1907 & 1908. He also experienced the effects of the 1906 earthquake in south Wales and his comments were briefly reported in The Manchester Guardian4 where he described the earth movements and the sounds of the seismic disturbance.
His contributions to the civic life of Aberdare were probably more significant than his work at the school. He served for many years on the Aberdare and Merthyr Board of Guardians, and took a prominent role in the Aberdare Council and had been chairman, as well as chairman of the Education Committee5 in the days when Aberdare ran its own elementary schools.
A keen student of Welsh life and affairs, Mr Williams was also a poet of some repute and won chairs at local and regional eisteddfodau. Under the name of Ogwen, he was a popular member of the Gorsedd.
He was one of the pioneers of the Welsh drama movement, and for many years was organiser and producer for a successful amateur company in the Aberdare district.
For twenty years he was a member of the Central Welsh Board, and was on the executive committee of the Cardiff Cymrodorion.
Ogwen Williams lived at 2, Broniestyn Terrace. He was twice married. His first wife was Aberdarian Miss Sarah Jane Thomas, head teacher of the Town Council School6, whom he married in 1900. His second wife was Miss S. Jones of Bangor. Both predeceased him.
There were two daughters, both from his first marriage: Mrs Dr Enid Mary Rogers (née Williams), M.D., B.Ch.7; and, Eluned Mary Williams, BSc.8
Mr Williams is pictured in the 1906, 1922 and 1923 staff photographs, as well as in the group of dignitaries present at the opening of the Mining & Engineering Laboratory in 1922, all of which are on this website.
He retired from teaching in 1932, leaving Aberdare at that time to live in Whitchurch, Cardiff. He died in 1937, aged 66, in his hometown of Bangor.