Henry Howard Evans EM

b. ? 1866 Aberdare, Glamorgan.  d. 2nd Quarter 1935 Pontypridd, Wales.

DATE OF EM ACTION: 06/04/1910 Bwlffa Dare Colliery, near Aberdare, South Wales.

Henry Howard Evans was born in Aberdare, Glamorgan in 1866. Little is known about his life until in 1891 he married in Pontypridd to Ellen Parry. Sadly, Ellen died young, and at the time of his actions at Bwlffa Dare Colliery, he was widowed. He was living with his elderly mother, Elizabeth and their servant Maggie Evans. All that is then known about Henry Howard Evans is that he died in 1935 in Pontypridd, aged 69.



On the 6th April, 1910, John Isaac, a repairer, was engaged in inspecting the return airway of the Bwlffa Dare Colliery, near Aberdare, South Wales, and while he was going under a closely timbered bridge in the airway for the purpose of examining it, the bridge collapsed without warning and covered Isaac with about 40 tons of debris. Isaac would have been instantly killed if the mass of fallen material had not been partly supported by the timber in the roadway. Isaac’s assistant at once ran for help, and the under manager, Mr. W. R. Protheroe, and Mr. Gomer Jones, assistant examiner, were soon on the spot, followed by Mr. Henry Evans, the manager. They found Isaac lying about seven feet below them under the debris with only his head exposed. The roof and sides were in a very dangerous state, and there was a continual risk from “dribbling falls.”

In spite of the imminent danger, the three men set to work with great courage and perseverance. Digging carefully with their hands and sawing off the timber as they went, they were able to make a narrow tunnel to the place where Isaac lay. After working steadily and cautiously for over nine hours, they cleared a space large enough to admit of Isaac being drawn out, and finally with a united effort they managed to drag him into a place of safety. As soon as Isaac was released from his perilous position the whole fabric collapsed.

The work of rescue was carried out with excellent coolness and skill and, thanks to the efforts of the three rescuers, Isaac escaped without serious injury.