Fonds GB 0210 GWERTS - Gwen Rees Roberts Papers

Identity area

Reference code



Gwen Rees Roberts Papers


  • 1935-2002 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

0.029 cubic metres (1 box)

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

Gwen Rees Roberts (1916-2002) was a Calvinistic Methodist missionary in Mizoram, India, from 1944 until 1968.

Born at Morfa Nefyn, Caernarfonshire, in 1916, she attended schools in Cricieth, Porthmadog and Pwllheli, where she developed a lifelong enthusiasm for Sunday Schools, the Brownies, and other social, educational and religious groups for children. She was drawn towards overseas missionary work whilst in her teens, and from 1935 to 1939 she studied at the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, where she gained a BSc. and a Diploma in Education and Certificate in Teaching.

In 1938, the Presbyterian Church of Wales Foreign Mission Committee offered her a teaching post in Mizoram (formerly Lushai), Assam, India, dependent upon her training first at the interdenominational Carey Hall Women's Missionary Training College, Birmingham, in 1939-1940. Prevented by the war from travelling to Mizoram, she taught at Llandudno for a while and then spent four years teaching in Porthmadog. She eventually arrived in Aizawl, Mizoram, in 1944, where she became Headmistress of the Welsh Mission Girls' School, which was renamed the Presbyterian Church Girls School in 1960. Like all the missionaries in Mizoram, Gwen Rees Roberts was given a Mizo name - in her case, Pi Teii - and she learned the Mizo language, conducting some of her work through it. Whilst in Aizawl, she worked for the Mission, the Synod Standing Committee and both the British and Indian governments, her duties including teaching (in the high school, a number of colleges, the Aizawl night college, and Sunday Schools) and work with women's groups, which often entailed visiting Mizo villages; she also wrote a number of school textbooks, for example on the history and geography of Palestine, which she visited in 1963. She remained in Mizoram until 1968, when, after a rare trip home, she was prevented from returning to Mizoram by a Mizo nationalist insurrection.

Although she returned to visit Mizoram in 1974, 1985 and 1994, and never relinquished her close ties there, she lived at Bala, Meirionnydd, from 1968, working as a Liaison Officer to the Mission Board of the Presbyterian Church in Wales until her retirement in 1985. She was an active member of the Mission Board until 1999, and lived in Bala until her death in 2002. A subscription fund was set up in her memory in the town in 2002, and the proceeds divided between Capel Tegid, Coleg y Bala and the Presbyterian Church of Wales Foreign Mission Committee.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Deposited on behalf of the estate of Gwen Rees Roberts by Hywel Davies and Co.; Bala; March 2002; C2002/2, 0200203592.

Further deposit by Bala College; April 2002; C2002/2, 0200203592.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

The fonds comprises papers of Gwen Rees Roberts, 1935-2000, relating to her educational, religious and social activities both in India and in Wales, including diaries and travel notes, 1950-[1989], school and university certificates, 1916-1939, CVs, 1939-1968, correspondence, articles, reports, pamphlets and press cuttings relating to her work and friends in Mizoram, 1945-2000, and papers concerning her family genealogy, 1987-1997; also included are papers, 2002, relating to the Gwen Rees Roberts Memorial Fund.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

Action: The following items have been destroyed: address books for 1984, 1994, [late 1990s] and 1999.

Authority to destroy these papers is given in Departmental Appraisal Form DJM/MJP/2008/2..


Accruals are unlikely.

System of arrangement

Arranged chronologically into three series: Diaries and travel notes; Mizoram; Notes on religious themes; and three files.

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 noted on the 'Modern papers - data protection' form issued witheir readers' tickets.

Conditions governing reproduction

Usual copyright laws apply.

Language of material

  • English
  • Welsh
  • Latin
  • Chinese
  • Samoan
  • French

Script of material

Language and script notes

English, Welsh, Mizo, Latin, Chinese, Samoan, French (see appropriate level descriptions).

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Some personal papers of Gwen Rees Roberts are NLW CMA GZ/37 and HZ1/37/1-22, and slides, photographs and ephemera are also in NLW (acquisition numbers 0200205726-30).

Related descriptions

Notes area


Title based on contents.

Alternative identifier(s)

Virtua system control number


GEAC system control number


Access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru = The National Library of Wales

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

March 2003.


  • English



Archivist's note

Description compiled by David Moore.

Archivist's note

The following source was used in the compilation of this description: Roberts, Gwen Rees, Memories of Mizoram: recollections and reflections (Presbyterian Church of Wales; Cardiff, 2001);

Accession area