Tribute to Lifelong Peacemaker Ifanwy Williams

It is with great sadness that the WCIA team learnt of the passing of lifelong peacemaker Ifanwy Williams, 98, from Porthmadog in Gwynedd on 20th March.

Ifanwy Williams, Porthmadog – Portrait by Lee Karen Stow

Ifanwy may be familiar to Welsh internationalists beyond Snowdonia as the ‘face’ of the “Women War & Peace” Exhibition by WCIA, with documentary photographer Lee Karen Stow, which toured Wales over 2017-20 – and remains on permanent display in Wales’ Temple of Peace and Health in Cardiff.

Ifanwy shared her perspective as a lifelong peace campaigner in a moving interview with Lee, reproduced for International Women’s Day 2018 in her blog post ‘Remember Me: the Changing Face of Memorialisation’, in which she shared Ifanwy’s story: 

“At age 96, Ifanwy Williams (pictured here) has been a member of the peace movement in Wales for seven decades.

Born in Liverpool, Ifanwy was evacuated during the Second World War to Denbigh in Wales. She studied social work and on her gap year went to live in Dinmael, a village occupied by many radicals and non-conformists.

Influenced by those around her, and particularly her older brother Glyn, a conscientious objector and pacifist, she also became a conscientious objector.

For ten years Ifanwy has chaired the Glaslyn and Dwyryd Branch of Cymdeithas y Cymod (Fellowship of Reconciliation in Wales). It was Ifanwy who coined the phrase Adar Angau (death birds/death drones) when the Fellowship began a campaign to raise awareness of plans to test and develop unmanned drone aircraft at the Llanbedr airfield in Snowdonia.

“I aim to be a Christian. I am a pacifist. I don’t believe in killing. There are other ways of meeting difficult situations.’’

Ifanwy was instrumental in setting up Heddwch Nain Mamgu, a community-led group inspired by the 1923-4 Welsh Women’s Peace Petition to America (which was signed by 390,296 women in households Wales-wide, in through a remarkable door-to-door campaign by the Welsh League of Nations Union) – who aim to mobilise a new generation of women peacemakers in the leadup to the centenary of this incredible movement.

Despite the current lockdown, friends and networks in the Porthmadog and wider Peace community through Cymdeithas y Cymod are organising virtual and online tributes to Ifanwy. WCIA will aim to add links to these tributes as they become available.

Peacemaker Ifanwy Williams, 1922-2020: Short film tribute put together by Llinos Griffin from Gwefus.

Further information from N Wales Daily Post Funeral Notices, March 23rd 2020:

“Died peacefully at Ysbyty Gwynedd aged 98 years after a short illness, of Porthmadog. Loving mother and a true and faithful friend to numerous people and her many relatives. An enthusiastic campaigner all through her life for Peace, Wales and the Welsh language and against Inequality of any kind. A committed Christian. An inspiration to many. A huge loss at her departure. Funeral arrangements yet to be confirmed but numbers must be limited. A Memorial Service will be held later in the year and a collection arranged at that time. Further enquiries through the funeral directors Pritchard a Griffiths Cyf., Dublin Street, Tremadog – 01766 512091”