Remembering Margaret

Although Lady Rhondda had no children of her own, there were cousins and other relatives who still recall her, though they were very young at the time. The overwhelming impression is of a woman of incredible generosity, integrity and above all fun!

Lady Rhondda is seen here at her maternal grandfather’s house on a bike ride with other family members. She is the figure 3rd from left hunched over her bicycle.

Lady Rhondda is seen here at her maternal grandfather’s house on a bike ride with other family members. She is the figure 3rd from left hunched over her bicycle.

Stories of her kindness to others abound. One cousin fondly remembers:

"I was only ten when Margaret died but I do remember her and Theodora doing jigsaws [at Margaret's Grandfather's house, where the photos were taken]. Margaret was very kind and gave my mother and I a house in Llanwern to live in after my father died [in 1947]. When Margaret died [in 1958] her instructions gave us five years to buy the house if we wanted to. We bought it and lived there for over 35 years. She was a very generous person."

 Another local man recalls:

"I remember a time when I was about ten and I found Margaret’s hat in a hedge somewhere. When I gave it back to her she gave me a ten shilling tip. I’d never had so much money!"

While another cousin tells how:

"Every Christmas until I was 14, I was sent a book to read & criticise for Time & Tide. She always sent my father butter & cream from her farm in Surrey. She also sent my mother silk stockings on occasion!"

Fascinating insights into her early political life have been unearthed by Richard O’Brien whose grandfather, J.T. Rhys knew Margaret and wrote down his recollections of her maiden speech.  This rare archive gives us a unique insight into her development as public speaker. It speaks volumes about the close relationship she had with her father, D.A. Thomas. He saw that she had talent and never regarded her gender as an impediment to success. He had raised her as his equal and gave her the opportunities and encouragement to fulfil her potential.