Tuesday, April 23, 2013

"The Grandfather I Never Knew" Part 1

“The Grandfather I Never Knew” Part 1

Idris Davies was born on December 2nd 1914 to Price and Annie Davies. His birth was registered in the borough ofMerthyr Tydfil on the 11th January 1915. [1] His hair would become dark, nearly black and his eyes were blue. He had what can only be described as ‘A real welsh nose.’ At the time his father, Price Davies had been asked to pastor at Aberaman Assembly. Idris had an older brother, David John Davies and a sister Mair Davies who had died in 1910. In 1917 the family moved to the Old Prince Of Wales Public House. This had five living rooms and the front part, where the bar used to be, was used as a meeting hall for a new church congregation. [2]

His mother Annie used to make jam[3] and store it in the pantry for later use; strawberry was the preferred flavor and at age four while Idris was sleeping his parents stepped out for a short while. Idris awoke and made his way into the pantry where he began to open the stored containers and with a spoon he ate all of the jam. By the time Price and Annie returned home they found him on the floor unconscious.

They immediately called for the itinerant doctor and nurse, which must have been done by running to the local clinic since they did not have a phone. By the time the doctor. and nurse arrived on the scene there was little that could be done and they pronounced him dead, apparently issuing a death certificate. Price and Annie were devout Christian believers and they invited a small group of people from the church over to the house, wanting them to pray for Idris before they gave up on him.Annie had witnessed her own miraculous healing when younger and they hoped for the same thing to occur now. [4]

As Idris’ children, Glyn and Wendy, remember it being told to them; "this small group of Christians was delightedly disturbed when a voice was heard from the bedroom in which they had placed their child. Idris was singing loudly, “I’m three three three, I once was lost and now am found, Christ has set me three.”" Yes, the pronunciation of the word ‘free’ had changed but his family was ecstatic. They believed God had healed their son and brought him back from the dead.

Now fortunate to live the rest of his life, Idris was mischievous and full of fun, like any young boy would be. When living in Brynithel and Six Bells they would fill up buckets of water and spread it over the ground so that it would freeze at night creating an ice slide. The boys would get someone to chase them who did not know about it and at the last minute the person doing the chasing would turn and Idris with the others would slide on down and make their escape.

While in Brynithel, aged 7, Idris became a Christian and was ‘saved’. While it was at Six Bells that Idris was baptized in Bethany Baptist Chapel at age 11. [5] Both these events set the scene for a life of missions and church work but before much of that could occur Idris must first navigate his way through such major cataclysms as World War 2

[1] Birth Certificate for Idris Davies, registered 11 Jan 1915, Ref No 11a 1603, County Borough of Merthyr Tydfil U.K. Certified copy in possession of author

[2] Much information is provided courtesy of "A TESTIMONY and a brief record of the of the BEGINNING of the PENTECOSTAL MOVEMENT in the MERTHYR BOROUGH,BEDLINOG AND THE ABERDARE VALLEY by PASTOR PRICE DAVIES – annotated by RoyDavies

[3] Americans use the word jelly.

[4] There is no death certificate to officially document this miracle, it is likely that before the records were sent to authorities they had realized the mistake in certifying him as dead and did not send his name with the records. There is however a record of Annie’s healings, to be found in 'The WesternMail', 'South Wales Echo', 'South Wales Daily News', 'Merthyr Express', and theWelsh language newspaper 'Tarian Y Gweithwyr' in September 1905.

[5] This is again found in the written Testimony of Price Davies.

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