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Gwilliam, John Albert
1923-2016

Schoolmaster, born on 28 February 1923 in Pontypridd and educated at Monmouth School and Trinity College, Cambridge. He served as an officer in the Royal Tank Regiment and after the war completed his degree in History. He taught at Glenalmond College, Perth, then at Bromsgrove School, before becoming Head of Lower School at Dulwich College 1956-1963 and Headmaster of Birkenhead School 1963-1988. As a headmaster he was respected as a disciplinarian who insisted on good manners and appearance and sought to imbue his pupils with his own spiritual values.

He had a distinguished career as a Rugby player, winning 23 caps for Wales between 1947 and 1954, captaining Wales to two Grand Slams, and playing in the last Welsh team to beat the All Blacks in 1953. He retired from Rugby in 1955 and fifty years later was inducted into the Welsh Sporting Hall of Fame.

As a deeply religious Methodist he was sometimes described as ‘Cromwellian’; ‘a man of few words, but with a joy that quietly radiated in smiles’. He retired to Llanfairfechan, where he died on 23 December 2016.

Sources

  • Daily Telegraph, 6 February 2017

Category: Person

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