The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall attended the Welsh National Miners Memorial in Senghenydd to pay tribute to miners who lost their lives in a coalmine disaster in 1913.
In 1913, an explosion at the Universal Colliery in Senghenydd killed a rescuer and 439 miners. The incident is considered the biggest disaster in the area. Last year, a national memorial was unveiled to mark the 100-year anniversary of the accident.
Roy Noble, who is the patron of the village’s heritage committee, welcomed Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. Prince Charles laid down a wreath at the foot of the monument. The couple was shown the tiles around the memorial, which listed the names of all those who perished during the unfortunate incident. They browsed through the names as the choir sang “Senghenydd.”
One of those in attendance was Viv Pitten, a 70-year-old man who resided at the top of the valley. He said that although the explosion happened more than 100 years ago, it is still raw for people his age.
Prince Charles also went around the village’s Heritage Museum where he paid his respects to the miners who died. “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,” he said.
Charles and Camilla also took time to greet the crowds. They accepted flowers given to them by schoolchildren who were there.
Hilary Barbrook, 74, said that she lost two grandfathers in the 1913 explosion. One of her grandfathers was found 15 months after the disaster when part of the mine was reopened. Her grandfather was recognized from a ring that he wore.
The Prince and the Duchess spent five days touring Wales. The Duchess attended the 50th anniversary of Britain in Bloom and Prince Charles toured the 15th century farmhouse, which is being restored.
Images via Camilla, Duchess Of Cornwall, Facebook