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Ear to the Ground

Welsh Community Gathers to Remember Killed Coal Miners (Video)

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Posted on Oct 14, 2013
CaerphillyLocal History/YouTube

People gather around the dead following the 1913 Senghenydd Pit disaster.

A Welsh village Monday honored 440 coal miners who lost their lives an explosion 100 years ago, the worst such disaster in U.K. history.

Hundreds, some sources say thousands, of people attended the event to mark the centenary of the 1913 disaster at Universal Colliery in the village of Senghenydd. The Welsh National Mining Memorial, which encourages reflection on all men, women and children who have died in mining disasters across the country, was sponsored by the Aber Valley Heritage Group.

The bronze statue depicts a rescue worker coming to the aid of one of the survivors of the explosion. A wall of remembrances shows the names of the dead on individual ceramic tiles detailing their names, ages and addresses, and a memorial garden invites visitors to walk a “Path of Memory.”

An explosion at the same colliery killed 81 men in 1901.

Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who died in April, referred to unionized coal miners across the U.K. as the “enemy within” when they fought against her efforts to curb the political influence of trade unions. A week after Thatcher’s death, Truthdig published a brief remembrance by the son of a South Wales coal miner of his father, who had recently died.

Read more about the memorial and see scenes from it and the 1913 tragedy at Wales Online here, and watch a brief, emotionally moving documentary on the disaster below.

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

ianmorleyfilms:

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