Early life and career
Born Herbert Edmund Davies at Mountain Ash (Welsh: Aberpennar), Glamorgan (now in Rhondda Cynon Taf), Wales, he was the third son of Morgan John Davies and Elizabeth Maud Edmunds. Davies was educated at Mountain Ash Grammar School, King's College London and Exeter College, Oxford, where he received the Vinerian Scholarship. Called to the Bar at Gray's Inn in 1929, he worked as examiner and lecturer at the London School of Economics in 1930 and 1931. During the Second World War, he served in the Army Officers' Emergency Reserve and in the Royal Welch Fusiliers. He was Recorder of Merthyr Tydfil from 1942 to 1944, of Swansea from 1944 to 1953 and of Cardiff from 1953 to 1958. Between 1953 and 1964, Davies was chairman of the Denbighshire Quarter Sessions.