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History

William Evans (22 April 1883 – 16 July 1968), better known by his bardic name of Wil Ifan, was a Welsh poet who served as Archdruid of the National Eisteddfod of Wales from 1947 to 1950.[1]

He was the son of Dan Evans, a Congregationalist minister, and Mary (née Davies). He was born in Cwmbach and was educated at University of Wales, Bangor and Mansfield College, Oxford.

Wil Ifan followed in his father's footsteps by becoming a Congregationalist Minister. He was ordained in the English Congregationalist Chapel in Dolgellau, Merionethshire, in 1906 and served as the chapel minister for three years.

Whilst in Dolgellau he met his future wife Nesta Wyn Edwards whom he married on 28 December 1910 in Dolgellau. They had four children.

In 1909 he became the minister of the English Congregationalist church in Bridgend Glamorganshire. Apart from time spent in the Richmond Road English Congregational Church, Cardiff, between 1916 and 1925, Evans spent the rest of his life in Bridgend.[2]

Like all Archdruids, he was a winner of a major poetry prize at the National Eisteddfod, winning the Crown at Abergavenny in 1913, at Birkenhead in 1917 (when Hedd Wyn was posthumously awarded the Chair) and at Pwllheli in 1925.

He died in Bridgend and is buried at Rhydymain in Merionethshire.

Beti Hughes PlaqueBeti Hughes - "Beti Gwynno" novelist (1926-1981), was born in Cwmbach, and attended Cwmbach School and then Whitland Grammer School. Carmarthenshire, was a Welsh teacher in the Girls' Grammar School in Lampeter. She was later Deputy Headteacher at the Bro Myrddin School, Carmarthen. She wrote a number of novels and was joint winner of the Daniel Owen Memorial Competition in the National Eisteddfod in Caernarfon in 1979 with her novel Pontio'r Pellter (Swansea, 1981).

Beti Gwynno was National President of Merched Y Wawr from 1972-1974.

There is a memorial to Beti Gwynno in Cwmbach (see right).

Cross Statue
The war memorial at Llanwinio commemorating the fallen of the parish
during the First World War.