TRIBUTES have been paid to a man believed to have been the last living link to the Gresford Colliery Disaster.

Eddie Edwards, who worked down the pits from the age of 14, has died aged 102.

A trained fitter, Mr Edwards had been off work on the day of the disaster but went down the mine to help rescuers following the explosion, which saw 266 miners killed in the Dennis section of the colliery.

Mr Edwards spent many more years working in other local pits but, after the disaster, ventured underground at Gresford just one more time.

He served as a fitter at Tanyfron, Southsea, Gresford and Bersham collieries and in the last few years before his retirement he was employed at Shotton steelworks.

He was also a gifted writer who enjoyed composing poetry and prose.

Alan Jones, chairman of the North Wales Miners Association Trust, said: “He was the last living link to the Gresford disaster. He had been working underground on the Friday – the day before the explosion.

“He told the story of what happened very well. On the Saturday he very bravely went back to help with the rescue efforts. He was a very nice man and always very keen to tell the story.

“He was always willing to talk to anyone and tell them about the conditions during that time. Every year he attended the memorial service but unfortunately last year due to the weather he couldn’t make it.”

Mr Edwards lived in Gresford and died on January 6.

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