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 • Ceredigion
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Gwynfor Evans
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Birth: Sep. 1, 1912
Death: Apr. 21, 2005

Mr Evans changed the face of British politics when he became Plaid's first MP in the 1966 Carmarthen by-election.Fourteen years later he threatened to starve himself to death in the cause of Welsh language television, leading to the foundation of S4C.Gwynfor Evans was born in Barry, south Wales, in 1912, but spent most of his life in Llangadog, Carmarthenshire.Educated at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, and then St John's College Oxford, he established a branch of Plaid Cymru while he was a student.A committed Christian and pacifist, he refused to join the armed forces during World War II and was summoned to appear before a tribunal. He was unconditionally dismissed.He was elected Plaid president in 1945 and would be at the centre of many of the party's triumphs and most hard-fought campaigns in the decades to come.In July 1966,he won the by-election in Carmarthen, called following the death of Labour MP, Dame Megan Lloyd George, the daughter of former Prime Minister David Lloyd George. His victory was among the most unexpected in British political history,as Plaid Cymru won its first seat in Westminster.Hundreds of supporters travelled to London to see him enter Parliament.Three years later, Mr Evans lost his seat to Labour, but he returned to Westminster in 1974,this time with two more Plaid MPs - Dafydd Elis Thomas - now Lord Elis Thomas and presiding officer of the Welsh assembly - and Dafydd Wigley.But in 1979, the year Margaret Thatcher came to power, he lost his seat and although he did not stand in an election again he kept himself busy in Welsh politics.Having campaigned during the 1970s for the establishment of a Welsh language fourth television channel, he began a hunger strike in 1980,saying he would fast to death if the then Conservative government would not agree.Against a background of other protests, the government gave in and S4C began broadcasting in 1982.He wrote a number of books in both Welsh and English about Wales, his latest in 2001, Cymru o Hud in Welsh and Eternal Wales in English.He also penned his autobiography, Bywyd Cymro (Life of a Welshman) in 1982 and in 1996, an English version, For the Sake of Wales.By 1997, he had lived to see his dream being fulfilled,with a Yes vote in a referendum to set up of a Welsh assembly.


 
 
Burial:
Aberystwyth Crematorium
Aberystwyth
Ceredigion, Wales
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
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Record added: Jun 07, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 19756385
Gwynfor Evans
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Gwynfor Evans
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