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Welcome to the Gareth Follis Homepage

Updated November 9, 2000

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My name is Gareth Norman Follis and I live in Pentyrch, a small village about six miles from Cardiff, the capital city of Wales, U.K. My father's name was Norman Edward Follis. He was born in 1927 about 2 miles away in Saint Fagans, then raised in Pentyrch. His father was Edward (Ted) Follis who was born at "Mill cottage", Wellington, Herefordshire and moved to Wales having married Maud Walters, who came from the Garw valley in the Bridgend area of South Wales. My Mother's name is Joan Follis, the daughter of William Elworthy and Gwenifred Ann Elworthy (nee Jenkins) and she was raised in Taff's Well, also just a couple of miles away. When Ted Follis arrived in Pentyrch around 70 years ago, it was still largely Welsh speaking and he was left with the formidable task of learning the language - he had considerable success, quite a feat for an Englishman!. A contradiction of a man in many ways, Ted was possessed of both a fearful temper and a sympathetic ear, which led many of the residents of Pentyrch to hs door with their problems. He was very well read man and devoured political books in particular in great number - many of them are still in my mother's house. My father inherited my grandfather's keen mind and having topped the class on each of his school reports expressed a wish to join the Royal Navy. His mother, who was crippled with athritis begged him to do "war work" instead, with the consequence that he went to the coal mines as a "Bevin boy". Tragically, at the age of twenty, a promising career in mining engineering was cut short by a pitface explosion which left him totally blind. His dogged determination to overcome this terrible disability was an inspiration to all. He worked his way up to management level at the Coal Board's South Wales headquarters, becoming the first blind person to pass the demanding examinations needed to attain the Chartered Secretary qualification. Later he gained a degree, with honours, in the social sciences from the Open University. A tireless worker for disabled causes, who shunned recogntion for his efforts, he was nonetheless rewarded by being presented with the M.B.E. by the Queen. I have to much family information to list here, but my wife, Diane and myself would be delighted to hear from other FOLLIS families around the world. I should point out, in conclusion, that the name is so uncommon in the U.K. that we are presently unaware of anyone here who is not a relative!

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