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Siblings leave £1.3 million legacy to air ambulance charity

A kind-hearted brother and sister who grew up on their family farm in Wales have left most of their estate and wealth to the Wales Air Ambulance.

Siblings Peggy and Charles pictured together at a local wedding
Peggy and Charles were well known in the village and farming community as “local characters” who lived for one another and dedicated their lives to farming.

Siblings Charles Tryweryn Davies, 92, and Margaret Eunice Davies, 89, left £1.3 million to Wales Air Ambulance, after the charity helped Charles when he had a tractor accident on the farm.

It is the largest donation the charity has ever received.

Charles and Margaret, who was known as Peggy, grew up on the family farm in Tyn y Wern, Faerdref in Corwen, with six other siblings.

Peggy passed away in November 2019, followed by Charles four months later. The pair dedicated their lives to the farm and were well known in the village and farming community. They were described as “local characters” who lived for one another.

black and white photo of a young Peggy
Peggy as a young woman.

Tractor accident prompts generous legacy

It is thought the siblings chose to leave their legacy to the Wales Air Ambulance as a thank you to the charity for attending Charles when he had an accident with a tractor on the farm.

Peggy was always grateful to anybody who would show her or her sibling kindness.

Their friend Merfyn Roberts, who is also NFU area secretary, said: “I remember Charles telling me about his accident and how grateful he was for the fantastic service he had received, but we didn’t know their intentions until after their deaths.

 “It was good to see that Charles and Peggy had both agreed to bequeath most of their estate to the charity – had we known, we would have encouraged them to meet the charity and see how their legacy would help continue to save lives.

“It was pleasing to hear the legacy is the largest the charity has received, and we hope it may encourage more of our members to also leave a gift.”

“Humbled” by generous donation

Phae Jones, Wales Air Ambulance’s senior individual giving and legacy manager, said the charity was “humbled by this incredibly generous donation”.

She added: “It is a shame that we never got to meet Charles and Peggy, but it is clear to see from their generosity and from hearing the stories about them, the type of characters they were.

 “Choosing to include the charity in their Wills is a very special way to be remembered and ensures that Charles and Peggy’s legacy to Wales will live on through the delivery of advanced critical care and saving the lives of others.

“Their gift will fund over 280 lifesaving missions. That’s over 280 patients and their families whose lives will be impacted by their extraordinary kindness.”

The charity requires £11.2 million every year to keep its helicopters and rapid response vehicles operational.

It offers advanced critical care across Wales which is delivered via a unique Third Sector and Public Sector partnership between the Wales Air Ambulance Charity and the Emergency Medical Retrieval and Transfer Service (EMRTS Cymru).

Meryn and Iolo executors with Wales Air Ambulance crew with helicopter in the background
Friends of the siblings and executors of their Wills, Merfyn Roberts and Iolo Evans (centre) with the Wales Air Ambulance crew.

 “Colourful characters”

Charles, who was known as a “mischievous character” loved to collect clocks and Land Rovers, whilst Peggy enjoyed competing at the annual Cynwyd and Llandrillo gardening shows.

Speaking fondly of him, Merfyn said: “I remember Charles visiting me in my office, with his yellow corduroy trousers and dickie bow. He always had a glint in his eye. They both had a distinct style.

“I’ll never forget visiting Charles and Peggy after they purchased a brand-new state-of-the-art Mercedes, which they allowed the chickens to roost on the top of and make a mess of.

“Charles liked to think he was a weather expert and always had a theory about the weather and the signs to look out for when the seasons changed. We didn’t know what he was talking about, but it always used to make us smile.”

Another friend, Iolo Evans, who was general manager of Corwen Farmers for more than 50 years, said: “Charles and Peggy were different and very old fashioned but likeable people.

“They would come to my office to buy farming supplies and Charles would strike a deal and then nod to Peggy who would pull out a bag of money. They were quite comical and unique characters.

“Merfyn and I plan to donate a cup in Peggy’s memory at the gardening show.”

The pair spent time in their later years at the Cysgod Y Gaer nursing home in Corwenand are now buried next to their brother Ivor.

Their headstone reads: ‘Rhoi eu hoes if ffermio’n gymen, Rhoi eu helw i elusen’, which translates to ‘they gave their lives to farming, they gave their profits to charity’.

There are plans for a memorial bench for Charles and Peggy in Llandrillo, and it is hoped their memory will live on in the community as well as through their generous donation.

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