Ogmore Valley Miners Memorial

Ogmore Valley, South-East Wales

By Huw Daniel

Preparing the plaques. L-R Ken L. James, Trevor John and Joanna Daniel
Joanna Daniel prepares the lettering.
Lasers R Us Staff start erecting the Memorial Plaques
Trevor John and Harry Radcliffe supervise the fitting of the lamp donated by Harry and last used in the Wyndham Colliery
The Memorial lettering takes shape.
The finished Memorial in the Main Hall of Ogmore Vale Primary School.
Ogmore Valley Miners Memorial
The assembled audience eagerly await the ceremony.
Uniformed members of the emergency services were among the invited guests of honour.
Paul Booth, BA (Hons), NPQH, Head teacher of Ogmore Vale Primary School, a keen supporter of the Society, starts the proceedings.
Standing Room Only!! (L-R Cliff Edwards, David Harries, Eira, Joanna Daniel, Ken L. James, Unknown, Paul Booth BA (Hons), NPQH, Trevor John.
The Reverend Kevin Lake of St. Davids, Wyndham blesses the plaques.
The assembled guests stand in preparation for the official unveiling of the Miners memorial.
The Ogmore Valley Ladies Choir who opened proceedings with a sparkling performance singing a melody of songs including the "Lords Prayer" and "As Long As I Have Music".
The Ogmore Valley Male Voice Choir who gave superb renditionings of "Nant-y-Mynydd", "Take Me Home" and "Gwahoddiad".
Ogmore Vale Primary School Choir singing "Cymru Lan Gwlad y Gan".
Nantymoel Primary School Choir singing "Abba, Fe`th Addolwn".
Edwina Hart AM, MBE, Minister for Social Justice and Regeneration, guest of honour addressing the audience.
WAM (Bert) Jones, CBE, addresses the audience on behalf of the Ogmore Valley Local History & Heritage Society.
Pastor Brian Dallimore of Christchurch with the closing address.
Audience reaction to Pastor Brian Dallimore excellent closiing address.
Amy-Leigh Daniel of Ogmore Vale Primary School, presents a bouquet to Edwina Hart AM, MBE. Joanna Daniel and Peggy Hughes look on.
Amy-Leigh Daniel recieves thanks off Janice Gregory AM for Ogmore after presenting her with a bouquet
Font Cover Order Of Service Booklet
Order of Service
Guest List
Foreword
Ogmore Valley Collieries
Harry Radcliffes Story
The Miners Poem
Thanks to sponsors
Rear Cover

Laser Etched Slate Plaques erected in Ogmore Vale Primary School containing names of all the Miners killed in the Ogmore Valley Coalfield from 1865 to 1984.

On Friday the 14th May 2004, in Ogmore Vale Primary School, the Culmination of many years research and several months planning came to fruition when the “Ogmore Valley Miners Memorial”, consisting of sixteen A2 sized slate plaques, laser etched with the names of every man and boy killed in the collieries of the Ogmore Valley, was unveiled and dedicated. The date was deliberately chosen and significant in that on 14th May 1888 not more than 200 yards away on the Aber Mountain in Aber No 2 Colliery, (above the present-day Aber Farm) five men lost their life in an explosion, which was to equal the worst loss of life in a single accident in an Ogmore Valley Colliery.

The Ogmore Valley Local History¬†and Heritage Society believe that this Memorial is possibly unique in the UK as it names all the men and boys killed in every working colliery in the complete history of the Valley’s coal industry. It would be true to say that, even after many years research, we fully believe that there may be names out there we haven’t yet unearthed. (At the time of writing we now know of five more fatalities we were unaware of at the time of the dedication of the memorial).

At 2pm prompt, silence fell amongst the invited guests, which were headed by Mrs Edwina Hart, M.B.E. A.M., Minister for Social Regeneration, Mrs Janice Gregory A.M., Assembly Member for Ogmore, Mr. Tyrone O`Sullivan, representative of Tower Colliery, (last deep mine in South Wales), representatives of every South Wales Mining Organisation, Dinas Mines Rescue Service, all uniformed rescue services, including the Police and Ambulance services, the Mayor of Bridgend County Borough Council and all the valley`s County Councillors, the chairman and the council of Ogmore Vale Community Council and the heads, governors and children of the three schools connected with the valley.

It was with the kind permission of Mr Paul Booth N.P.Q.H., head of Ogmore Vale Primary School that we were able to site this important project within the school and it was then fitting that Paul started the proceedings with a short welcoming address.

This was followed with a sparkling performance by the ladies of the Ogmore Valley Ladies choir who sang a melody of songs including the “Lords Prayer” and “As Long As I Have Music”. Pastor Brian Dallimore, of Christchurch, Ogmore Vale, ensured that the proceedings flowed with seamless perfection, despite our best efforts of changing the proceedings at the last minute, with Brian’s first duty being to introduce Mr. Harry Radcliffe of Nantymoel, who as the Society’s oldest surviving miner, was given the honour of unveiling the plaques, an honour Harry was only too glad to accept.

The Ogmore Valley Male Voice Choir then performed “Nant-y-Mynydd” to precede Mrs Edwina Hart`s address to the assembled guests, which was then ably followed by the children of the Ogmore Vale Primary School Choir singing “Gwlad y Gan” and Nantymoel Primary School Choir singing “Abba, Fe`th Addolwn”. Each choir gave a magnificent rendition of their chosen songs and were a credit to their schools and families, and rightly deserved the magnificent applause they duly received.

Reverend Kevin Lake of St. David`s Church, Wyndham performed the service to dedicate the plaques, which was followed by a heart-rending performance of “Take Me Home” by the Ogmore Valley Male Voice choir, which in turn was followed at the lectern by Mr. Bert Jones, who then gave a moving address on behalf of the Society. The Ogmore Valley Male Voice choir then concluded with yet another excellent performance, their final song being “Gwahoddiad”.

Pastor Brian Dallimore then delivered a closing address summing up to the day’s events perfectly, with the whole event finished off with the entire assembled audience singing the Welsh National anthem.

The result is that the Valley now has a magnificent memorial to all the miners, both men and boys that have laid down their lives to win what for many centuries was the very life blood of this country, with an added bonus for the society, being that the memorial will not only be used as a standard for several other “Miners Memorials” now in the planning stages but will also be used as a teaching resource for many generations of the valley`s future heritage, which are its children.

For more information go to: http://www.ovlhs.btik.com/p_Campaign.ikml

For a full list of the miners killed go to our website: http://www.ovlhs.btik.com/documents/2481068911.ikml

or contact the secretary, Huw Daniel (huw@ovlhs.co.uk)

This page was last updated on 16 May 2014.

Comments about this page

  • I have seen the interesting item on the memorial plaques naming the miners.

    Members of my family lived in Ogmore Vale and worked in the mines around 1910+ and I wonder if a list of the names of those mentioned is available anywhere.

    Thank you.

    By Caroline Buckler (25 April 2008)
  • What a wondeful memorial. My grandfather Jack Kembery and my Uncle Will Horne worked in the valleys mines. My grandparents lived in Hill Street and you could see the drift mine clearly from the backgarden. This brings back lovely memories of my childhood when I spent many happy summer holidays with my Nana Kembery in the mid to late 1960’s

    By Phil Kembery (3 September 2008)
  • Have just seen the wonderful photos & memorial plaques on your site.
    I lived in Cardiff Street ,Ogmore Vale, during the war and my welsh cousins & uncles worked in the “Drift” the “Ocean” and the “Wyndham” during this time.Also great to see your “Standing room only” photo of Cliff Edwards.I think he is the same Cliff who lived opposite me and who I have not seen for some 60 years.

    By Brian Hill (27 September 2008)
  • I just found your very interesting site. My relatives, the Edwards and the Cox families, lived at 19 Hill St in 1900 and worked down the mines until at least 1920. I grew up hearing stories of life there from my grandfather but I can’t remember which mine he worked at. Like Caroline in the first message, I’d like to see a list of the names on the memorial.

    By Lynda Edwards (1 November 2008)
  • Very inspiring community project. We have added this as a weblink on the Communities First Ward of Blackmill website http://www.wardblackmill.btik.com

    By Matthew Smith (10 February 2009)
  • A wonderful local history resource.
    ***

    ***I live in Edinburgh and found the article about the Coop very informative as I have photos of the 1920s when my grandfather E.J. Kendry worked in Ogmore Vale and Lewistown branches before moving to the Bridgend branch in the 1930s.
    ***

    ***By Mary Bevan
    ***

    ***25/2/2009

    By Mary Bevan (25 February 2009)
  • We seem to be having some technical difficulties accessing this site, e-mail the Society direct on huw@ovlhs.co.uk and we will answer all queries…

    By OVLHS_Secretary (19 May 2009)
  • The full lst of the Miners killed from 1865 – 1984 in the Valleys mines can now be found here….

    ***

    ***

    http://www.ovlhs.btik.com/documents/2481068911.ikml

    By Huw Daniel (12 June 2009)
  • I have sent two E-mails to have my uncle included on the Memorial list but no reply. James Goldsworthy was his name and I also have a death certificate. Is the list closed?

    By Mrs Sheila Morgan (11 January 2010)
  • Sheila`s question was answered off list but essentially we are still gathering names off any miners killed in the valley`s mines with a view to adding additional plaques if/when we get the funding.

    By OVLHS_Secretary (12 July 2010)
  • Hi, I was thrilled to see your pictures and memorial to the wonderful and brave miners of the Ogmore Valley. I am currently tracing my family after the deaths of my mother and sister. My mother Thelma Davies was born in 10, Vale View. Some relatives still live there and have confirmed that some of our relatives died in the mines. One memory is of a relative who died in a mining accident and was brought home in a wheelbarrow. I would love to confirm who this was and where the accident happened. We know Titus Davies died in the mines but again I don’t know where. Can anyone help me find out please, I would be very grateful to find out more information. I am a teacher at Manorbier VCP and we are planning to do a History project on the mines in our area, particularly Manorbier and Stepaside, where my family originally mined before moving to the vallley. Maybe we could link with Ogmore Primary School? Thank you so much for all the fantastic work you have done for the miners memory. Best wishes, Sharon

    By Sharon Davies (31 July 2010)
  • this is a really good example to show your children when they get older i am apart of this village and i am proud to say we have all done well in the past few years and its soo amazing how much we have done thank you

    By rhiannon edwards (13 January 2011)
  • Hello just found your site. Am very interested as my grandparents and great grandparents lived in Ogmore Vale from around 1910 to around 1930. Are there any archive photos from the village around this time. my families surname was Follett. Albert ( Bertie ) Follett & Margaret Ellen Follett. ( grandparents ) and their daughter Ivy louise Follett and Dorothy ( Dora ) Follett. Do you know where I could locate a list of miners who worked the local pits. In 1911 the family lived in Wyndham St, Ogmore Vale.

    By rs Jane Halton (9 March 2011)
  • A very interesting article. I am the son of Enid Moore, who lived in Ogmore Terrace in Nantymoel during the 40’s & 50’s. Her mother was Violet Moore and her father was Clifford. I understand that my grandfather worked down the pit (Wyndham I believe) and also served in the Nantymoel Home Guard. My aunt, Eunice Jones is still alive and living in Tondu and is now the ripe age of 90. Thank you for publishing this article on the web.

    By Kevin Goult (27 January 2012)
  • Hi Sharon, Can you e-mail directly (huw@ovlhs.co.uk) and we may be able to help both with your family history and putting you in touch with Ogmore Primary School, Regards Huw (OVLHS Secretary)

    By OVLHS_Secretary (17 April 2012)
  • Hi Jane, If you e-mail directly I have located a number of FOLLETTS in our records, including some of the names listed, Regards Huw (OVLHS Secretary)

    By OVLHS_Secretary (17 April 2012)
  • Very pleased indeed to see WAM “Bert” Jones at this ceremony. Bert was extremely helpful to me when I set up Land & Minerals Surveying Journal. Proud of his industry, proud of being Welsh. And thoroughly nice with it!

    By Michael Schwartz (28 November 2012)

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