Cyril Gwynn: farmer, seaman and poet

Gaynor Madoc Leonard
09/21/13 08:24:55PM
302 posts

I haven't grabbed it so you can have a go. Quite an eventful life and worthy of a TV documentary at least, I would have thought.

Ceri Shaw
09/21/13 07:39:12PM
568 posts

A fascinating character and highly rated by Harri Webb. Inevitably I could not resist adding his book to the Welsh American Bookstore and looking him up on the wiki. Now I have to decide whether or not to buy the one available copy. Unless of course Gaynor has grabbed it already?

Gaynor Madoc Leonard
09/21/13 06:44:37PM
302 posts

While looking on Google for something totally unrelated, I came across The Gower Yarns of Cyril Gwynn. This book is published by The Gower Society and is available (used) from Amazon, Abebooks, Alibris etc.

Having never heard of Gwynn before, I looked him and there's quite an extensive Wikipedia entry for him (from which I've taken the following information). He was born in Briton Ferry and grew up on both his father's and his grandfather's farms in the Gower area. He started making up rhymes while he was at school in Newton and Mumbles. Over a period of years, his family moved around a fair bit and ended up in Morriston, where he found a job in a government factory. During the WW1, he served on minesweepers and, following the war, he joined the US Mercantile fleet.

In 1922, he married in Wales and he and his wife went on to have 7 children. He attended a politics course in Hertfordshire, where he met Randolph Churchill and Alan Lennox-Boyd; the latter stood for the Conservatives at Gower but failed. Gwynn acted as his political agent and considered a political career but decided against it.

Eventually, after moving 9 times, he settled at a farm in Port Eynon. In 1964, his wife being in poor health, their doctor suggested a holiday and they went to visit one of their children in Australia for two months. In fact, they stayed there and, apart from an extended visit to Wales in 1975 and another short visit after his wife died in 1979, he lived in Australia for the rest of his life.

updated by @gaynor-madoc-leonard: 11/11/15 10:38:59PM