Memorial Honors Victims of Senghenydd Mining Disasters
The Wales National Mining Memorial will be dedicated at a day of ceremonies in the village of Senghenydd on Oct. 14, the centenary of Britain's worst mine disaster.
Members of the British Parliament and residents living in and near the Aber Valley, a region of southeast Wales, are remembering the 439 miners who died in an Oct. 14, 1913, explosion inside a coal mine there. One rescue worker also died. It stands as Britain's worst mining disaster.
Church bells will peal on Oct. 13, Remembrance Sunday, and the Wales National Mining Memorial -- a tribute to the victims of all Welsh mining disasters – will be dedicated Oct. 14, along with a Universal Wall of Remembrance, Memorial Garden, and a Path of Memory.
The Aber Valley Heritage Group notes nearly 950 men were working below ground when the explosion occurred, and it probably was caused by a spark igniting methane gas. Clouds of coal dust filled the colliery and these, too, exploded. A primary school now occupies the site of the mine. A 1901 explosion at the same mine had killed 81 workers.
Although the mine reopened after the 1913 disaster, it closed in 1928 and finally was filled in in 1979, according to the group's account.
David Wayne, a member of Parliament, is sponsoring a resolution paying tribute to the 1913 victims and commending the Heritage Group's work in organizing the memorial.