Historic rugby match in aid of Welsh National Mining Memorial


1913 Christ College, BRecon rugby teamTwo rugby sides who met a century ago to raise funds for the families of the victims of the Senghenydd Mining Disaster are to lock horns again 100 years on.

On Saturday 21st September Christ College in Brecon will host a match against Crickhowell Youth RFC in a return fixture of a game played in the aftermath of the explosion at the Universal Colliery, Senghenydd on October 14th 1913. 440 miners died in the explosion, which is recognised as the UK's worst mining disaster.

In this the centenary year of the mining disaster the two sides will restage the 1913 rugby fixture to raise funds for the Welsh National Mining Memorial, which is set to be unveiled in Senghenydd on Monday 14th October.

In 1913 Crickhowell RFC ran out 9-6 winners over their Christ College counterparts, and the school's archives show that this tightly fought game 'drew a large number of spectators'. Organisers are hoping that a similar-sized crowd will be present on Saturday 21st September to lend their support to the Welsh National Mining Memorial.

Jack Humphreys, Chairman of the Aber Valley Heritage Group organising the Senghenydd Memorial Event, said, "The game between these two sides 100 years ago generated much needed funds for the families whose relatives died in the Universal Colliery explosion. This return fixture marking the centenary of the Senghenydd Mining Disaster is a fitting tribute and we're pleased to have the support of both teams once again."

Maldwyn Powell, archivist at Crickhowell RFC, said: "In the Crickhowell RFC archives we hold a copy of the letter sent to the Lord Mayor of Cardiff enclosing the donation of £7 3s 2d to the Senghenydd Relief Fund, which would be roughly £800 in today's currency. It would be fantastic if this game could raise a similar amount, or possibly more, in support of the Welsh National Mining Memorial."

Emma Taylor, Head of Christ College, added, "It will be a great pleasure to welcome players and supporters from around the region to Christ College for this special match to mark the centenary of the Senghenydd Mining Disaster in 1913. The event will obviously be tinged with the sadness that inevitably attends such memorials, and it is right that we pause and remember those miners who lost their lives and the tragic impact on their community.

"At the same time this match will offer a celebration of the pride, tradition and camaraderie that reside almost uniquely in the game of rugby and I hope that the game will provide great enjoyment both for those who play and those who watch."

The match between Christ College, Brecon and Crickhowell Youth RFC will kick off at 2.30pm on Saturday 21st September. Supporters and visitors are welcome to attend. A souvenir programme will be on sale together with refreshments. All money raised from the event will be donated to the Welsh National Mining Memorial.

For further details, or to send a donation, please contact Maldwyn Powell (Crickhowell RFC) on 01873 811 273 or email mal_11a@btinternet.com. Alternatively contact Felicity Kilpatrick or Tim Trumper at Christ College, Brecon on 01874 615440.

A host of activities, services and concerts are to be held in the mining village of Senghenydd on Monday 14th October to mark 100 years since the explosion at the Universal Colliery.


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.