- 1923-1924 (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
0.297 cubic metres (33 boxes)
Name of creator
Gwilym Davies (1879-1955) was born at Cwmfelin, Bedlinog, Glamorgan. He began preaching in 1895, and trained at the Midland Baptist College, Nottingham, and at Rawdon College. There he won the Pegg Scholarship, enabling him to enter Jesus College, Oxford, where he edited The Baptist Outlook. In 1906, he was ordained minister at Broad Haven, Pembrokeshire, and married Annie Margaretta Davies. She died in December the same year and their baby son died four months later. He later served as minister in Carmarthen, 1908-1915, Abergavenny, 1915-1919, and Llandrindod, 1919-1922, after which he retired from the ministry. He co-founded the Welsh School of Social Services in 1911, to apply Christian principles to social questions. He also championed the rights of boys from reformatory schools, who were not always justly treated by their employers. In 1922, he co-founded with Lord David Davies of Llandinam the Welsh council of the League of Nations, with the aim of securing co-operation between the world's nations, and served as its director 1922-1945. Under his direction, the council's Welsh Education Committee's draft model constitution for an international education organisation greatly influenced the creation of UNESCO. Davies is probably remembered best for initiating in 1922 the peace message of the youth of Wales to the youth of the world, now broadcast annually on 18 May. He was also the first person to broadcast in Welsh, on St David's Day, 1923. In January 1942, he married Mary Elizabeth Ellis of Dolgellau, only the second ever woman to be appointed a school inspector in Wales. He had suffered ill-health since a teenager, and died in January 1955; his ashes were scattered at Lavernock Point, Penarth.
Following the campaign in 1923, the petitions, totalling 390,296 signatures, were kept within an oak chest that accompanied Annie Hughes-Griffiths, Mary Ellis, Elined Prys and Gladys Thomas to America in 1924 to later be presented to President Calvin Coolidge. Since then, the chest has been kept at the National Museum of American History. In 2019, discussions started between the Women of Wales for a World without War Partnership, the National Museum of American History & the National Library of Wales which ultimately led to the chest being transferred to the National Library of Wales on the 5th of April, 2023.
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
Smithsonian's National Museum of American History; Washington D.C; Transfer; April 2023
Content and structure area
Scope and content
Appeal containing approximatiely 7,500 petitions of signatures received by the women of Wales during the 1923 Wales Peace Petition, organised by the Welsh League of Nations Union in April-May 1923.
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling
All records have been retained
Accruals are not expected
System of arrangement
Original order as received within 33 boxes.
Conditions of access and use area
Conditions governing access
Readers consulting modern papers in the National Library of Wales are required to abide by the conditions set out in information provided when applying for their Readers' Tickets, whereby the reader shall become responsible for compliance with the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation 2018 in relation to any processing by them of personal data obtained from modern records held at the Library.
Conditions governing reproduction
Usual copyright laws apply
Language of material
Script of material
Language and script notes
Physical characteristics and technical requirements
Allied materials area
Existence and location of originals
Existence and location of copies
Related units of description
Title based on contents of fonds. Original boxes labelled 'Women's World Court Comm. Acc - 85471 CAT - 34965'.
Subject access points
Place access points
Name access points
- Welsh League of Nations Union (Subject)
Genre access points
Description control area
Rules and/or conventions used
Description follows NLW guidelines based on ISAD(G) 2nd ed.; AACR2; and LCSH
Level of detail
Dates of creation revision deletion
The following sources were used in the compilation of this catalogue: WCIA - '1923 Welsh Women’s Women’s Peace Petition returns to Wales, as National Lottery funding awarded to Centenary Peace Project' (https://www.wcia.org.uk/academi-heddwch-cymru/womens-peace-centenary-launch/) - Viewed on August 9th, 2023; '“Inspired by Annie”: The Story of the 1923 Welsh Women’s Peace Petition to America.' (https://www.wcia.org.uk/wcia-news/wcia-history/womenspeacepetition/) - Viewed on August 9th, 2023
Description compiled by Oscar Seager