Richard Hopkins AM

b. ? 1822 Wales.  d. 06/10/1882 Ferndale, Rhondda, Wales. 

DATE OF AM ACTION:  11/04/1877 Tynewydd Colliery, Porth, Wales.

Richard Hopkins AM

Richard was born in c. 1822 in South Wales. He was the eldest of four children born to Ann Hopkins. His father’s name is not known. He was a career miner supporting his mother financially. Richard was part of the large rescue at Tynewydd Colliery near Forth in the Rhondda Valley, which led to the award of many Albert Medals for Lifesaving. Tragically, Richard was killed on 6th October 1882 whilst working as a labourer above ground at the Ferndale No 2 Colliery, when he was crushed by a runaway tram. He was buried in an unmarked grave in Ferndale Cemetery.



On the llth of April the Tynewydd Colliery, situated near Forth, in the Rhondda Valley, South Wales, was inundated with water from the old workings of the adjoining Cymmer Colliery. At the time of the inundation there were fourteen men in the pit, of whom four were unfortunately drowned, and one killed by compressed air, leaving nine men imprisoned by the water ; of this number four were released after eighteen hours’ imprisonment, and five after nine days’ imprisonment. It was in effecting the release of these latter five that those distinguished services were rendered which the conferring of the ” Albert Medal of the Second Class ” is intended to recognize; During the five days from April the 16th to April the 20th the above named eleven men were at various times engaged in cutting through the barrier of coal separating them from the five imprisoned men, and while exposing their own lives to the great danger which would have resulted from an outburst of compressed air and water, and to the danger which actually existed from the presence of large quantities of inflammable gas, continued to perform their work until the five men were safely rescued.



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