William R Davies

From Festipedia, hosted by the FR Heritage Group

William R. Davies, born 1886 in Penrhyndeudraeth, was a Festiniog Railway Fireman/Driver. He was the son of David Davies and brother of Tom and Evan who all also worked on the FR. There was another brother called Hugh who died at sixteen years old and probably never worked on the railway. Wil was living in Boston Lodge Cottages in 1911. He is first listed as a cleaner in 1901. He became a Stoker in 1912 and Driver in 1920. Both he and Tom later drove on the Welsh Highland Railway. He was injured in an accident in 1944, but recovered enough to work with Tom in the last years of the old Company. It was Will and Tom who manned Princess on the last train on 1st August 1946. After a return trip to Blaenau they were given notice and told the railway was closing. However, they were employed until that December but it is not known what they did during that time.

Wil's son Hugh Davies wrote his recollections of his father and uncle Tom Davies and their work on the FR in Ffestiniog Railway Magazine. [1] As a boy Wil lived at Penrhyndeudraeth but after he married his wife Jane they lived in the Chapel House at Minffordd as caretakers where their son Hugh was born in 1925. Wil's brother Tom Davies would attend Sunday morning service with Wil and afterwards they would discuss the problems of the FR over a cuppa. In the 1930s they would, on several occasions in the summer, drive FR trains to Beddgelert on the WHR. For these turns they would take an extra large lunch box with sandwich pack and a bottle of fresh tea. The bottle had a special place on the boiler to keep it hot until required. Towards the end of the second world war there was a shortage of workers on the FR and Wil persuaded his son Hugh to help out by unloading a mainline waggon of coal into FR waggons at Minffordd.

Census Entry for 1911[edit]

An entry has been found for this person at Boston Lodge Cottages
where the year of birth is recorded as: 1886 in Penrhyndeudraeth
The occupation given is: Cleaner

William R Davies is confirmed as the person in the photo known as Boyd26H. (click here to see) This photo is labelled "A Group taken in the Works Yard before the First War". It is believed to be around 1913. It is not all staff from the yard at that time. There was a list attached to the original which declares who the people are. This person is believed to be in the second row from the back and the third person from the left handside.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Working On The 'Old' FR", Ffestiniog Railway Magazine, Issue 192, page(s): 734