- The massive donation will help save up to 280 lives, Wales Air Ambulance say
- Siblings chose charity after a tractor accident on remote farm in Corwen, Wales
- Neighbours described siblings as ‘eccentric’ and how they made them ‘smile’
A reclusive brother and sister left their £1.3million fortune to Wales Air Ambulance – the largest legacy the charity has ever received – after dying just weeks apart.
Margaret Davies, known as Peggy, died aged 89, four months before her older brother Charles, 92, also passed away.
The siblings spent their whole lives together on a remote farm in Corwen, Denbighshire where they looked after sheep and cows.
It is believed they chose the Wales Air Ambulance after Mr Davies was airlifted to hospital following a tractor accident several years ago.
The pair are buried together with an epitaph on their headstone which says: ‘Rhoi eu hoes if ffermio’n gymen, Rhoi eu helw i elusen’, translated in English to: ‘They gave their lives to farming, they gave their profits to charity.’
Their friend and executor, Merfyn Roberts, 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.’
Mr Roberts, who is the National Farmers’ Union area secretary, recalled Mr Davies visiting their office with yellow corduroy trousers and a dickie bow.
He always had a glint in his eye. They both had a distinct style,’ he said.
‘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.’
Delwyn Lewis, 79, a retired policeman, said: ‘They were inseparable and did everything.
‘They doted on each other as they had no children. He died of a broken heart when she passed away.’
Sion Jones, 39, a neighbour, said Mr Davies had suffered not one but two accidents.
He said: ‘Charles was trapped under the wheels of the tractor for more than an hour.
‘He managed to crawl out and raise the alarm. He told me he thought he was going to die as he was quite badly hurt.
‘But he also had another accident when they came to him as he left the hand brake off his landrover and it rolled onto him.’
He added: ‘Charles farmed right to the end really – he was a nimble, amazing man. But they had to go into a care home in the end. I used to go and visit them.
‘However when Peggy died, he couldn’t cope without her. He just kind of gave up in the end.’
Their friend Merfyn Roberts, the area secretary for the National Framers Union, said:
Richard Hughes, 72, another neighbour said: ‘Charles was very eccentric and the world’s slowest driver.
‘He would just park his Land Rover wherever he stopped. He wore a bow tie to funerals and a top hat. His sister would also dress. They are badly missed.’
The ‘colourful characters’ grew up on the family farm with their parents and six other siblings, Maldwyn, Ivor, Lois, Trebor, Jennie and Wmffre who also had no children.
The pair helped the local community by driving the school taxi. For many years Charles worked for Denbighshire Council on the highways while Peggy worked at home on the farm.
Peggy died in November 2019 and Charles four months later after both had spent some time in Cysgod Y Gaer, a local nursing home.
Charles, who was described as a ‘mischievous character’ loved to collect clocks and Land Rovers, whilst Peggy enjoyed competing at the annual Cynwyd and Llandrillo gardening shows.
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.’
Phae Jones, the ambulance charity’s senior individual giving and legacy manager, said: ‘We are humbled by this incredibly generous donation, making it the largest legacy to have been left to the charity.
‘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.