HRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall Visit the National Mining Memorial at Senghenydd

07.07.2014

On Thursday the 3rd July 2014, The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall visited the National Mining Memorial for Wales to lay a wreath in memory of all miners killed in Welsh collieries. The Royal couple spent a considerable amount of time meeting relatives of those killed and talking with members of the Aber Valley Heritage Group.

Photo gallery

Roy Noble, patron of the village’s heritage committee, welcomed the couple to the monument’s 'hallowed ground', which also commemorates both the 1901 and 1913 Universal Colliery disasters in which 81 and 440 men and boys were killed respectively.

Prince Charles and Camilla listening to Roy Noble

As part of the visit the Prince and Duchess were shown name tiles inlaid in a Memorial Wall around the central bronze memorial sculpture bearing the names of all the victims, some as young as 14. While they looked around the garden the Aber Valley Male Voice Choir sang the song ‘Senghenydd’.

Prince Charles and Camilla then went on to tour the Aber Valley Heritage Museum, where he paid tribute to the courage of the miners, and to those who paid the ultimate price digging the vital coal that helped drive Britain’s industry and war effort.

He said: 'My wife and I have so enjoyed this opportunity to meet you all and if I may say so to have a chance to pay our respects at the memorial.

'We just wanted to take this opportunity to congratulate all those who’ve been involved in ensuring such a marvellous memorial is there in memory of all those many people who died so tragically, not only in 1913, but in 1901.

'And in the fact you are commemorating so many other mining disasters which have afflicted so many other communities in this remarkable part of South Wales.

'I think we owe such an enormous debt of gratitude, respect and appreciation to those people - so many from the same families - who went underground and were courageous and determined enough to do so.

'Both of us are enormously proud to have this opportunity to be here.'

Prince Charles and Camilla sign the visitor book

The visit was enjoyed by the whole community. Groups of schoolchildren from all the local schools were present, many of whom had the chance to meet Prince Charles and Camilla and present them with posies of flowers.

The Royal couple also spent a lot of time chatting with the crowds of local residents who had gathered outside the Museum on Gwern Avenue

Jack Humphreys shows Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall the memorial tiles

PASSCHENDAELE (THIRD BATTLE OF YPRES)

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.