THE Prince of Wales visited the Gresford Colliery Disaster memorial during his visit to Wrexham on Saint David's Day.

This year marks the 90th anniversary of the tragic event which saw 266 men die following an explosion in the Gresford Colliery.

More than 500 men were trapped underground following the explosion in the early hours of the morning, with the number of workers on site much larger than usual as many had doubled their shifts so they could watch a Wrexham football match later that day.

His Royal Highness Prince William stopped in front of the monument to his pay his respects to all those who died. 

The Leader: Prince William pays his respects to those who died in the disaster.Prince William pays his respects to those who died in the disaster. (Image: Newsquest)

His Royal Highness then met 92-year-old Ruby McBurney, one of the last surviving children of the miners that perished in the disaster in 1934.

Afterwards, she said: "It was a really nice surprise. My daughter kept it a secret, as she was told to.

"He was lovely, it was so nice to meet him. It was certainly worth getting cold for!

"It will stay with me forever."

Alan Jones, chair of Friends of the Gresford Colliery Disaster Memorial, had the honour of giving His Royal Highness a tour of the memorial. 

Mr Jones said: "He really was so interested and inquisitive and well-informed - it was fantastic. He wasn't as formal as what I thought he'd be, it was a really lovely experience.

"I have a relative who is a manager at Clarence House - so we had a lovely chat about that as well."


The Prince of Wales also met volunteers from the Wrexham Miners Rescue Station which opened in 1913 to train rescuers on various techniques on how to save miners.

In 1934, many of those who trained at the station helped in the mission to save workers trapped as a result of the Gresford disaster, with three rescue workers losing their lives.

Jodie Blackburn of the project said: "We are very grateful to the Prince for shining a light on the Memorial."

The Gresford Colliery Disaster Memorial was the last stop on Prince William's St David's Day tour of Wrexham. It followed visits earlier in the day to The Turf, Wrexham AFC and All Saints School.