Robert Davies was born at Port Talbot in 1935. He was the only child of unemployed parents living in two rooms in their small South Wales town which was much affected by the Great Depression.Seeking work, they moved to Cardiff at the beginning of the Second World War. From a relatively quiet area they were soon to suffer the Blitz with severe bombing of the steelworks. His father has found employment there as a key-worker, being considered too old for the military.
These early experiences of poverty and war greatly affected his view on life both locally and in the wider world.
At eighteen he was ‘called up’ for 2 years compulsory military service. He thought to follow in his father’s footsteps by joining the Royal Navy which usually was only possible by sitting a written entrance examination and signing on for an extra year. He passed this exam but failed the Medical, due to his childhood history of asthma. He was thus excused any form of National Service but personally resolved to serve the community in some other way.
He left school early to work as an office boy in the private architect’s office. After many years of mainly part-time study while working in a local government office, he qualified as an architect. He then spent most of his career e3wigning schools. He was made redundant from the County Council in 1985 with a small early-retirement pension. Having no dependants, he was free to follow his great interest in community, and international work as a full-time volunteer. He did this for 10 years before marrying and moving permanently to Sweden.