Alexander Griffiths EM

b. 22/06/1872 Tredegar, Monmouthshire. d. 3rd Q 1943 Bedwellty, Monmouthshire.

DATE OF EM ACTION: 30/09/1912 Tredegar, Monmouthshire.

Alexander was born in Tredegar, Monmouthshire in 1872,. the third of six children of William A and Elizabeth Griffiths. His father was a miner at the local colliery. From a young age, Alexander followed his father into the mines. He married Elizabeth and they settled in Tredegar, living at 46 Charles Street. They would have at least three children – Gertrude, Marion and William. He worked down the mines until he retired in the mid 1930s. He died in 1943 aged 71.



On the 30th September, 1912, Thomas Richards and a man named Jones were repairing an air road by taking down a low portion of the roof, known to miners as a bridge. The bridge was about 10 feet long and nearly 12 feet thick, and at one end of it the road below was nearly blocked by fallen debris. In order to do his work, Richards made a small hole in the debris, and went through it; but, as he was returning, a piece fell and pinned his feet in the hole. His mate sent for the overman, Henry Saunders. Alexander Griffiths followed, and others were soon on the spot. Griffiths and Saunders went under the bridge and tried to take away the stone that was holding Richards; but a further fall of about 5 tramloads of debris completely buried him, and Griffiths and Saunders narrowly escaped the fall. Notwithstanding this indication of danger, the two men bravely went again under the bridge, working one behind the other in the small space available. Before they could get Richards out, signs of further movement of stone warned them to retreat, and the whole bridge, weighing about 20 tons, fell in. All present then started to work down through the fall to Richards, who was nine feet away, and eventually they got him out alive.