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Sir Guildhaume

Sir Guildhaume Myrddin-Evans - (1894-1964), civil servant, was born at Clynmawr House, in the Blaenau Gwent district of Abertillery, on 17 December 1894, the second son of Thomas Towy Evans, a Baptist minister, and his wife, Mary James. He was educated at Llandovery and Christ Church, Oxford, where he obtained first-class honours in mathematical moderations in 1914, and took his BA degree in 1919. On the outbreak of the First World War he was commissioned in the South Wales Borderers, and served in France and Flanders. In 1917 he was invalided out of the army, and then he joined the prime minister's secretariat. Two years later he became assistant secretary to the cabinet, and for the next ten years he was an assistant principal in the Treasury. On 16 April 1919 he married Elizabeth (1889-1981), daughter of Owen Watkin, farmer, of Sarn, Caernarvonshire; there were two sons of the marriage.
In 1929 Myrddin-Evans moved to the Ministry of Labour, and in 1935 became deputy chief insurance officer under the new Unemployment Acts. Then, in 1938, he was appointed head of the international labour division of the Ministry of Labour. From this time until his retirement in 1959 he led nearly all the British delegations to international labour conferences, and it was at once the most congenial as well as the most successful period of his career. During the Second World War he served as head of the production executive secretariat, and he also acted as adviser on manpower problems to both the American and Canadian governments. He was a member of the British delegation to the San Francisco conference in 1945 which established the United Nations, and he served in the British delegation to the general assembly of the UN between 1946 and 1953. But his outstanding achievement was his work for the International Labour Organisation (ILO). He had become the representative of the British government on the governing body of the ILO in 1945, and he was soon elected chairman. In the early months of 1946 negotiations between the ILO and UN; and the conclusions of these often difficult discussions, formally embodied in a detailed agreement, owed much to the tact, skill and competence of the two respective chairmen: Myrddin-Evans for the ILO and Sir A. Ramaswami Mudaliar, of India, for the UN. Myrddin-Evans was chairman of the ILO for three periods of office - a rare occurrence - and he was the first civil servant ever to be elected president of the International Labour Conference. This was in 1949.
Myrddin-Evans enjoyed great esteem within the ILO and was known all over the world for his remarkable knowledge of international labour conditions and problems. His contribution to the growth and development of the ILO was widely appreciated, and the warmth of his reception on his many visits to different parts of the world was a matter of deep personal satisfaction. On the eve of his retirement from  the Ministry of Labour he was appointed chairman of the Local Government Commission for Wales. He greatly appreciated the compliment; and he showed himself once more as an admirable chairman: thorough, positive, always helpful, and able to win the respect and the affection of his committee. The commission's report was published in 1963, a year before his death.
Myrddin-Evans was an active churchman all his life. For many years he was a member of the council of the Baptist Union, and for a time he served as secretary of the Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church in London. In 1934 he published, with Thomas Chegwidden, The Employment Exchange Service of Great Britain. He was appointed CB in 1945 and KCMG in 1947. Myrddin-Evans died at his London home, 6 Chester Place, Regent's Park, on 15 February 1964.
stoob

Sir Guildhaume

National Portrait Gallery



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