Fonds GB 0210 LLWGRIF - Dr Llewelyn Wyn Griffith Papers

Identity area

Reference code



Dr Llewelyn Wyn Griffith Papers


  • 1850-1977 (accumulated 1903-1977) (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

15 boxes (0.135 cubic metres)

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

Llewelyn Wyn Griffith (1890-1977) was a novelist, poet and translator. He was also a noted broadcaster and wrote extensively on Wales and Welsh culture.
He was born, 30 August 1890, in Glanwydden, Conwy, the eldest son of John Griffith (1863-1933), later of Dolgellau. Most of his schooling took place at Blaenau Ffestiniog and Dolgellau. In 1909 he entered the Inland Revenue Department as Assistant Surveyor of Taxes in Liverpool.
He enlisted in the Royal Welsh Fusiliers in September 1914, was gazetted Second Lieutenant in January 1915 and Captain in December 1915. He served in France and Belgium between 1915 and 1919 and was awarded the OBE(Mil) and Croix de Guerre for his services.
On demobilization in 1919 he resumed his duties as an Inspector of Taxes in Liverpool, Chester and London. In 1942 he was appointed Public Relations Officer to the Board of Inland Revenue and began broadcasting on Income Tax. From 1945 to 1952 he was Assistant Secretary and Director of Training in the Department.
He held office with many literary bodies. A prominent member of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion, he was appointed Honorary Editor of the Society's publications in 1935 and awarded the Cymmrodorion medal in 1970. He was chairman of the Welsh Committee of the Arts Council from 1949 to 1956 and subsequently vice-chairman of the Arts Council of Great Britain. A noted and frequent broadcaster in both Welsh and English, he was also, for many years, a member of the Welsh team in the Round Britain Quiz. He received an honorary degree of DLitt from the University of Wales and in 1961 was made a CBE.
His experiences as a Captain during the First World War are recounted in Up to Mametz (1931), and a second autobiographical work, Spring of Youth (1935), describes his boyhood and the Welsh tradition which sustained him throughout his life as a public servant in England. He published two novels, The Wooden Spoon (1937) and The Way Lies West (1945), as well as a volume of poetry, The Barren Tree (1945), and a book for children, The Adventures of Pryderi (1962). Among his books which were intended to interpret Welsh culture to the English reader were The Welsh (1950) and his translations from the work of Kate Roberts, including Tea in the Heather (1968) and The Living Sleep (1976).
He studied 16th and 17th century viol music under Arnold Dolmetsch and started the Early Welsh Music Society to interpret, perform and record the early Welsh harp music in the British Museum manuscripts.
He married Winifred Elizabeth Frimston in 1915 and had two sons - John Frimston Wyn Griffith, born in 1919 and killed in action, 1942; and Hugh Alan Wyn Griffith, born 1925. Llewelyn Wyn Griffith died 27 September 1977.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Donated by Llewelyn Wyn Griffith, May, August and December 1963 and March 1964.
Donated by his son, Hugh Wyn Griffith, July 1989; A1989/96.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

The papers of Llewelyn Wyn Griffith, comprising literary material, 1912-1977, including manuscript and typescript drafts of his autobiographies, poetry and prose, translations, and related correspondence; radio scripts, articles and addresses, 1927-[?1971]; personal papers, [c. 1900]-1976, including correspondence and diaries; and family papers, 1850-1951, including the papers of his father, John Griffith, and documents relating to family history.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

Action: All papers donated to NLW have been retained..


Accruals are not expected.

System of arrangement

Arranged at NLW into three groups: literary papers, personal papers, and family papers.

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Readers consulting modern papers in the National Library of Wales are required to sign the 'Modern papers - data protection' form.

Conditions governing reproduction

Usual copyright laws apply.

Language of material

  • English
  • Welsh

Script of material

Language and script notes

English, Welsh unless otherwise specified

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

A hard copy of this list is available at NLW.

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

See appropriate level descriptions.

Related descriptions

Notes area


Titles supplied from contents of fonds.

Alternative identifier(s)

Virtua system control number


GEAC system control number


Access points

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Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

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

October 2004.


  • English



The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: M. Stephens, New Companion to the Literature of Wales (Cardiff, 1998); Greg Hill, Llewelyn Wyn Griffith (Cardiff, 1984); Who's Who, 1897-1996 on CD-ROM; Transactions of the Honorable Society of Cymmrodorion, 1978; Introduction to Up to Mametz (1988 edition); Y Cerddor, cyf. III, 1933, and documents in the archive.

Archivist's note

Compiled by Barbara Davies.

Accession area

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