Funding boost for mining memorial


Plans to erect a landmark memorial in honour of the victims of one of the worst colliery disasters in British history are moving forward thanks to financial support from Caerphilly County Borough Council.

Over 440 men and boys were killed in 1913 following a huge explosion at the Universal Colliery site in Senghenydd. The disaster affected the lives of almost every household in the Aber Valley and sent shockwaves around the world.

The Aber Valley Heritage Group is developing plans to erect a poignant memorial at the site with support from CCBC, GAVO and Groundwork Caerphilly. It is anticipated that the statue will depict the iconic image of mother with her child wrapped in a traditional shawl staring into the distance while awaiting news about their loved ones from the colliery.

The estimated cost of the instalment and surrounding memorial gardens is estimated to be in the region £220,000 and the heritage group is seeking funding from a number of sources.

Caerphilly County Borough Council is supporting the project by providing £25,000 from the Village Renewal & Development Key Fund (funded via the Rural Development Programme for Wales) and £21,071 from the Community Regeneration Fund.

A Council spokesperson said, "We are delighted to support the Aber Valley Heritage Group in their efforts to commemorate the generation of miners who lost their lives on that tragic day. We will work with the group to help them secure the full amount needed to make this project a reality and look forward to unveiling the memorial on the centenary of the disaster in 2013."

The memorial will include a landscaped garden, a wall of remembrance and a small parking area.


A typical act of bravery took place on 17th August 1917 when Sgt Gilbert Lloyd, (Senghenydd), South Wales Borderers who, together with five others soldiers, held an isolated position until his battalion had been relieved and then brought out their wounded whilst still under fire.

He was awarded the MM at a local ceremony held on “The Rec” in August 19, 1919.  At this same ceremony where the villagers turned out in their thousands to see Colonel H E Morgan Lindsay, CB, DSO award the decorations to Sgt Lloyd and the men and also to the families of those Killed in Action (KIA). All listed below.

Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM)   Military Medal (MM)

Cpl. Tom Locke Sapper Robert Jackson

Pte. William Higgs Bdr. H C Fleet

Dvr. R G Taylor

Gnr. David Davies

Sgt. King Humphries

Pte. Syd Edwards


Distinguished Conduct Medal Military Cross (MC)

Sgt. T H Brown (KIA) Lt. J A Roberts(KIA)

(accepted by his wife) (accepted by his father)

Photo of Sgt Gilbert Lloyd


Wounded on three occasions before winning the MM in 1917.  Became a


Lieutenant in Home Guard, Aber and

and Senghenydd Platoon 1940-46.

Secretary of local Ex-Servicemen’s

Club for over 50 years.