The life and work of a man described as "the forgotten genius of Welsh literature” is being commemorated with the unveiling of a blue plaque at his home in the town. William Glynne-Jones's novels and short stories are being increasingly appreciated, not least with the re- publication of two of his novels in the prestigious Library of Wales series.
William Glynne-Jones was the author of four major novel and twelve books for children as well as contributing to some fifty magazines such as Esquire in the United States and Strand magazine in the UK. He was awarded the Rockefeller Foundation Atlantic Award in 1946.
The installation of the blue plaque at 24, Andrew Street on 2nd November is part of ongoing efforts to bring the work of this talented prose-writer, journalist and childrens' writer to the attention of new readers, not least in Llanelli as his writing captures the history and spirit of the town which both nurtured and inspired him. Having left the Llanelly County School for Boys at a young age William Glynne-Jones started work at the Glanmor foundry for two decades: a period of his life vividly described as a place he renamed Abermor in the novels Ride the White Stallion and Farewell Innocence. Having left the foundry on medical grounds he moved to London in 1943 to pursue a career in London, although his Welsh upbringing consistently fed into much of his writing.
The installation of the plaque means a lot to the family who have worked unstintingly to keep Glynne-Jones's writing in the public eye. His son Dennis said:
‘It is such a wonderful, happy occasion to unveil a Blue Plaque for my dad - William Glynne-Jones. On behalf of my family, I wish to thank everyone who has played a part in giving my dad this esteemed recognition of his literary talents. His journey to become a successful author was paved with difficulties, but he never gave up his love of writing a good story. He wrote entertainingly with pathos, gusto and authenticity about what it was like to live, work and play in Llanelli’s industrial past, and will be appreciated if his work is read, told and republished. I hope and pray.’
Mayor of Llanelli, Cllr Michael Cranham who unveiled the plaque, said: ‘We are very pleased as a Town Council to note the achievements of the Welsh / Llanelli author William Glynne-Jones to learn of his body of works and his life in Llanelli.’
The President of Llanelli Writers Circle, Jon Gower said: 'It is a special day for my hometown when one of its finest artists gets his moment in the sun. William Glynne-Jones belongs to the whole of Wales but holds a special significance for the people of Llanelli. A writer often holds up a mirror to the society around him and in many of his books they can see themselves and glimpse how the town looked and also pulsed with hard work when it was in its industrial heyday.'
'Boyhood', a short story by William Glynne-Jones, is available to read in Nation.Cymru.