MORE than a hundred people gathered to pay their respects at the memorial of the Gresford Colliery Disaster on Friday morning. 

In the early hours of Saturday, September 22, 1934, the tragedy took the lives of local men and boys and affected the whole of Wrexham with almost every village in the county borough losing someone.

At 2.08am, a violent explosion tore through the Dennis Section of the Gresford Colliery mine, leaving an underground fire.

Over 200 rescue workers were sent down to rescue the miners, with three also losing their lives. In total, just six men survived the disaster, and only 11 bodies were ever recovered.

This morning (September 22) the annual memorial ceremony was held at the Miner’s Wheel Memorial in Pandy to commemorate the 266 lives lost.

The Vicar of Llay, Huw Butler, conducted the service and prayers, the Llay Welfare Band performed the music throughout and pupils from Bryn Alun read out a poem. 

The event was well attended, with the Mayor of Wrexham Andy Williams, Wrexham's MP Sarah Atherton and Lesley Griffiths all in attendance. ​

Nine Wrexham schools also had students present at the memorial. 

George Powell from the Wrexham Miners Rescue Station said: “The numbers are growing and it’s fantastic to see so many children taking an interest.

"Year after year it’s getting more support and I think it’s down to the hard work of the Friends of Gresford who have kept this event going, I’m really proud of what they’re doing.

“Us at the Miners rescue are just supplementing what is going on here, we would have never got involved had they not approached us about saving the rescue station.

The Leader: Mayor of Wrexham, Andy Williams was in attendance.Mayor of Wrexham, Andy Williams was in attendance. (Image: Daniel Purdie Photography.)

“It’s all about supporting the event here today and I’m very proud to be here, since I’ve been coming this event has just grown and grown with the numbers increasing and I expect it to be massive next year for the 90th anniversary.”

Sarah Atherton said: “Today, on the 89th anniversary of the Gresford Mining Disaster, I will be thinking about the 266 men that lost their lives, and I will be keeping their families in my thoughts too.  


"Wrexham has a long and proud mining history, and this morning, I was pleased to see so many residents and representation from nine local schools at the old pit wheel to reflect on this history and on those lives lost in the disaster.” 

Wrexham’s Member of the Senedd, Lesley Griffiths said: “The Gresford Colliery disaster had a devastating impact on the Wrexham community so it is important we come together every year to ensure the 266 men who tragically lost their lives are never forgotten.

“The service was very well attended and it was particularly pleasing to see so many local schools taking part. Special praise must go to the pupils of Ysgol Bryn Alyn who wrote a poem to mark the commemoration – Cofiwch: 1934.”