Percy Thomas

Sir Percy Edward Thomas, architect, was born on 12 September 1883 in South Shields, County Durham. He was the son of Christmas Thomas, a sea captain, with whom Percy spent many of his early summers. In 1888 Thomas was articled to E. H. Bruton FRIBA in Cardiff where he stayed for five years. Between 1904 and 1907 Thomas worked in both Lancashire and Bath.

In 1912 Thomas formed the partnership Percy Thomas, with his long-time friend Ivor Jones. They were responsible for building Cardiff Technical College as well as other notable commissions. Thomas joined the army in 1915, but returned to Cardiff in 1919 where he built a number of small houses.

Between the wars, Thomas undertook his most accomplished and celebrated work including the civic centre in Swansea. By the time the Second World War began Thomas was undertaking government work and became the area officer for the Ministry of Supply in Wales. In 1948, he designed the campus layout for Nottingham University, and in 1965, he designed the campus layout for Aberystwyth University.

He retired in 1960 having been a design consultant for the Ministry of Transport on the Severn Bridge. He died on 17 August 1969 in Llanishen, Cardiff.

Bibliography

Unwin, S (2004) ‘Thomas, Sir Percy Edward (1883–1969)’ in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press, Oxford) [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/63146, accessed 18 Nov 2007]

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