Bryn attended Ruabon Grammar School in North Wales. He studied chemistry at Birmingham University where he obtained a 1st Class Honours degree in 1954 and a PhD in 1960, the latter with John Major and J.C. Robb on gas phase reactions of methylene. He then held a Post Doctoral Fellowship with Professor Fred Dainton at Leeds University for a year, where he worked on reactions of metal ions with free radicals in solution. He was appointed at Shell Research Ltd., in Thornton, by Maurice Sugden and worked with Alun Thomas and John Bennett on ESR studies of reactive radicals such as phenyl, isolated in cryogenic matrices formed using the rotating cryostat.
He did additional work on tribology and lubricant stability and, whilst also in the employ of Shell, spent a year in Emeryville in California. He joined Liverpool Polytechnic (later John Moores University) in 1973 as Reader (taking the Shell ESR spectrometer with him and inaugurating a new field of research there, in collaboration with Harry Morris), and then moved to NRC in Ottawa, Canada in 1984, the year he was also awarded a DSc.
While at NRC he worked in close collaboration with Tony Howard on reactions of metal atoms with organic and inorganic substrates using cryochemical techniques. He returned to the UK in 1990 to take up a position at the University of Wales in Cardiff. He left Cardiff in 1995 and accepted a visiting position at Bristol University, to work with Peter Timms on metal atom chemistry.
Bryn was a proud and passionate Welshman, with many interests beyond chemistry. He served as a socialist councillor in conservative Chester, he was a painter and sculptor, and also a poet. Other activities included fly-fishing and a study of philosophy. His life was all the more remarkable considering the fact that he developed juvenile diabetes at the age of 10 and lived with it for 62 years, never letting it hold him back from what he wanted to do in life.
He was married to June who studied Social Science at Birmingham. They have two children: David, a GP in Newark and Sian, a former English professor at Augusta State University in Georgia and currently an aide to Julie Morgan MP. They also have four grandsons.
Tony Howard and Chris Rhodes