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John (Jack) Samuel Williams

 

Known throughout his life as 'J.S' or 'Jack Williams the Communist', he was born in Bethseda, Caernarvonshire in 1900. He and his father moved down to the South Wales valleys at some point in the early years of the twentieth century and he worked as a coal hewer.

 

J.S. Williams probably joined the Communist Party during the early 1920s; he was certainly the Dowlais delegae to a RILU conference in Cardiff during October 1922. Williams became unemployed in 1926 and remained so for the rest of his short life. He devoted his energies to the Communist Party, the National Unemployed Workers' Movement and the Workers' Educational Movement. He was a National Council of Labour Colleges tutor and a student at Coleg Harlech. He served on the South Wales District Committee of the Communist Party and was actively involved in the Hunger Marches of 1931, 1934 and 1936, leading the latter one when Lewis Jones was forced to return to South Wales.

 

J.S. Williams was one of 504 marchers in the South Wales Unemployed March to London in October 1936. Almost immediately, in early 1937, he was involved in the recruiting and processing of volunteers in South Wales for the International Brigades during the Spanish Civil War and many fellow marchers signed up along with himself. Tim Harrington, D.R. Llewellyn, Will Paynter werte successful, whilst Arthur Griffiths and Lewis Jones failed the medical.

 

Whilst in Spain, Williams became seriously ill, spending time in a Spanish Republican hospital before returning home to Merthyr. He died on the 13th October 1938 of pneumonia and cardiac failure.

 

Source: The Archives Hub

http://archiveshub.ac.uk/features/spanishcivilwar-jackwilliams.html