Posted: Wed 21st Sep 2022

Wrexham residents to gather to remember 266 lives lost in Gresford Mining Disaster

Wrexham.com for people living in or visiting the wrexham area

Residents from across Wrexham will gather tomorrow (Thursday 22 October) to remember the 266 men and boys who tragically lost their lives in the Gresford Mining Disaster.

No village in the area was left unscathed by the disaster, which took so many lives 88 years ago.

Tomorrow will see annual service of remembrance will take place at 11am at the Gresford Disaster Memorial, Bluebell Lane, Pandy.

The service, which is open to everyone to attend, is held in memory of those 266 men and boys who died as a result of a disaster at Gresford Colliery on this date nearly nine decades ago.

253 men remain entombed from when the massive explosion ripped through the Dennis section of the mine at 2am on the Friday night shift

Over 200 rescue workers were sent down in an effort to rescue the miners. All they recovered were 11 bodies – three of them belonging to the first rescue team. One of the rescuers described that mine as being ‘just like hell’.

Once news reached town, crowds began to gather around the mine – women and children waiting for loved ones who will never return.

After 40 hours of toiling it became clear to the rescuers there was nobody alive left to save, so they decided to close the shafts at 6pm Sunday afternoon.

Only six men escaped with their lives from the affected area.

261 men were killed in the immediate aftermath with three rescue team members adding to the number.

The explosion left 200 widowed, 800 fatherless and 1,600 jobless.

The pit was sealed but a few days later a further explosion caused part of the seal to blow off, fatally injuring a surface worker.

A young man later died from shock after he collapsed at a memorial service for the victims and didn’t recover.

Many of those who died changed shifts to enable them to go to watch their favourite football team Wrexham AFC play Tranmere Rovers in an important league game.

Wrexham Football Club always make a point of remembering those fans during a short period of silence before the start of play on the closest home match to the anniversary date.

This year, North Wales Miners Association Trust have invited family members to the unveiling of a Memorial wall and associated mine plans which will be hosted by the Wrexham Warehouse Charity at the Mines Rescue Station, Maesgwyn Road, LL11 2AP on the same day.

The plans show workings the of Gresford Colliery where the explosions occurred underground, overlaid with the same area above ground.

Wrexham Mayor Cllr Brian Cameron said: “The Gresford disaster affected the whole of Wrexham, with almost every village in the county borough losing someone.

“It’s an incredibly sad part of our history in Wrexham, and one that we will never forget.”



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