Dyfrig Gruffydd Morgan, m.sc., m.a.
Agricultural Botanist

Dyfrig Gruffydd Morgan

Dyfrig Gruffydd Morgan (ABCS 1939 - 1945)

Dyfrig Morgan was born on 10 June 1927, the son of John Morgan and his wife Mary (née Edwards). He was brought up in Sunnybank1, Rhigos.

He transferred from Rhigos Primary School to the County School in 1939, subsequently taking his School Certificate in 1943, and ‘Highers’ in 1945. When in the sixth form, he was almost2 uniquely the simultaneous holder of the captaincy of cricket, (1944 and 1945), of Rugby Football in the 1944-45 season, as well as being Head Boy 1944-45. He also played for the Welsh Secondary Schools representative cricket team in 1945. Dyfrig left school in 1945 and went to UCW Aberystwyth.

He graduated in Botany with a first class honours degree, and stayed at the college to complete a diploma in education. In 1949, he was appointed to a lectureship at Aberystwyth and stayed there until 1953. Whilst lecturing at Aberystwyth, he was awarded an M.Sc. degree in 1952 for his research into the comparative growth rates of two oat varieties under varying pH levels in soils. In 1953 he left to take up a position in the research department of Imperial Chemical Industries at Jealott’s Hill Research station in Bracknell. Whilst there he played a leading part in the studies of gibberellic acid, a plant hormone, and its effect on the the development of crops. To do this he organised extensive field trials.

However, he returned to academic life in 1959 when he was appointed to a university lectureship in Agricultural Botany at the Department of Agricultural Science and Applied Biology at Cambridge University. He stayed there for 31 years until his retirement in 1990. He was made a Fellow of St John’s College, and was both a Senior Tutor and Junior Proctor there.

During his career Dyfrig made several study tours of European laboratories, in one instance staying for two years at institutions in Hamburg and Munich. He made significant progress in learning the language, to the extent that he was able to present his own papers in German to the German Botanical Society. In addition he visited Nigeria to advise on research in plant physiology, and spent a year at the Department of Botany at Havard University in the USA.

After seven years of retirement, Dyfrig died in Cambridge on Thursday, 18 December 1997, aged 70 years.

Dyfrig - from a team photo

Dyfrig holding the ball - from the 1945 team photo


Dyfrig is mentioned elsewhere on this website: he was the guest speaker at the School Certificate Ceremony in 1970; he is also pictured as one of the guests at the Past Student Association Annual Dinner, 1971.

1 A bungalow situated between The New Inn and Bank Top Garage.
2 Keith Rowlands also held all three positions. As Head Boy records do not go back further than 1939, it’s possible there were others with this distinction before that date.