Jones, Thomas, 1870-1955Alternative names
Epithet: civil servant
British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue : Person : Description : ark:/81055/vdc_100000001569.0x000249
Thomas Jones was born on September 17 1870, in Rhymney, Glamorgan, the eldest son of David Benjamin Jones, shopkeeper, and his wife Mary Ann. He was educated locally at Rhymney Board School and Lewis School, Pengam. Aged 14, he left full time education, becoming a clerk at the Rhymney Iron and Steel Works. In 1890 he was accepted at the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, with the aim of becoming a Methodist minister. But in 1895, he was offered a place to study at Glasgow University, and became a lecturer there in 1901.
On leaving Glasgow in 1904, Jones became a lecturer in Ireland, an investigator for the Royal Commission on the Poor Law (1906-09), and a lecturer in economics at the University of Belfast. In 1910, he returned to Wales as Secretary for the Movement Against TB, and two years later was appointed secretary of the Commission on National Health Insurance (Wales).
1916 saw Jones move to London, becoming under-secretary to the Cabinet, and later promoted to deputy-secretary. During his period as an officer to the government, he contributed to ensuring agreement over Ireland, and over the 1926 General Strike. He also became a close confidante to Lloyd George and Stanley Baldwin, remaining in close contact with them throughout his life. In 1929, Jones was made a Companion of Honour.
Jones' work in Wales continued, with him holding positions on the Councils of the University of Wales, the National Library of Wales and the National Museum of Wales, amongst other institutions. Between 1929 and 1939, he acted as Chairman of the Coalfield Hardship Committee in Wales, and was involved with Coleg Harlech and the Workers Educational Association. He was a founder member of the Gregynog Press and the journal The Welsh Outlook, becoming the first editor of the latter 1914-16. Jones also wrote many articles and pamphlets, and was awarded honorary LLDs from the Universities of Glasgow, Wales, St. Andrews and Birmingham. In June 1955, he suffered an accident at his home in Kent, and died at a London hospital on October 15 that year.
From the guide to the Thomas Jones Papers, 1914-1916, (Aberystwyth University)