Ness Edwards

Ness Edwards (5 April 1897 – 3 May 1968) was a trade unionist and Welsh Labour Party politician: he served as Member of Parliament (MP) for Caerphilly from July 1939 until his death.

He was born in Abertillery, Monmouthshire, Wales, the second of six children of Onesimus Edwards Snr and his wife Ellen.

A coal miner and trade unionist, he started work at the Penybont colliery on 5 April 1910, his 13th birthday. By the age of 17 he was elected chairman of the miners lodge at the Arriel Griffin colliery.

In 1917, at the age of 20, he was imprisoned as a conscientious objector to military service in the First World War. He had joined the Independent Labour Party in 1915, and through the ILP he came into contact with the No Conscription Fellowship. When conscription was introduced in 1916, Ness Edwards' conscientious objections to compulsory service were 'absolutist' and based on his trade union and socialist principles. He was treated harshly - imprisoned with hard labour at Dartmoor and later at Wormwood Scrubs, beaten in Brecon barracks and chased naked by soldiers with fixed bayonets, forced to work in stone quarries in freezing weather.

He was elected to Parliament at the 1939 Caerphilly by-election, following the death of Labour MP and fellow conscientious objector Morgan Jones. Edwards remained as Caerphilly's MP until his death in 1968.

At the beginning of World War II Edwards was instrumental in helping Czech miners escape the Sudetenland.

An associate of Aneurin Bevan and Jim Griffiths, Edwards was Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Labour and National Service from 1945 to 1950 and Postmaster General from 1950 to 1951. In 1948 he became a member of the Privy Council.

In 1925 Ness Edwards married Elina Victoria Williams, one of six children of Richard Williams, a county court bailiff, and his wife Anne Davies, of Bridgend. His daughter Llin Golding, born 'Llinos', was Labour MP for Newcastle-under-Lyme from 1986 to 2001: she was appointed to the House of Lords in 2001 as Baroness Golding

Ness Edwards died at Caerphilly Miners' Hospital on 3 May 1968, aged 71. Provided by Wikipedia
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    by Edwards, Ness
    Published 1924
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    by Edwards, Ness
    Published 1926