Cadeby Disaster Victim – Evans, Thomas Emrys

July 1912

Mexborough & Swinton Times – Saturday 20 July 1912

A Broken-Hearted Father.

One of the most pathetic figures among those who have wearily waited for news at the colliery has been that of a Congregational minister of Penarth, the father of Emrys Evans, a mining student, who is still locked up down the mine. He has hung about for some days in the desperate hope of the news that could not be given him, and has aroused the sympathy of all by his evident distress.

Mexborough & Swinton Times – Saturday 28 September 1912

Evidence of identification in respect of Thomas Emrys Evans, aged 23, a mining student of Penarth, South Wales, who lodged at Holywell Lane, Conisboro’, was given by Mr. Leonard Barry, the Chief Constable of Rochdale

Thomas Emrys Evans

Age: 22, Mining Student Explosion 2nd  Wales.

Supplied by Rachel Kneale, Archivist, Manchester Grammar School

From the school magazine (Ulula)

T. Emrys Evans lost his life in the fatal colliery accident at Cadeby on Tuesday July 9th. He was the eldest son of the Rev. Jonathan Evans, Minister of Milton Church, Rochdale. He entered the school in 1904. After leaving us, he took a course in Mining Engineering, and had arranged during his holiday to visit certain mines in the Conisborough district with a view to acquiring practical experience. He selected the Denaby Collieries because of the reputation they had for the efficiency of their general arrangements. He was going to sit for his final examination next March. He arrived at Conisborough on the evening of Monday, July 8th. On going to bed, he told his landlady not to call him til 7 o´clock as it was not his intention to go down the pit the following day. The King and Queen were visiting the district and he proposed to see them. At breakfast his landlady told him of the catastrophe. He got up at once, took his bag with his pit suit, went off to the pit, and was among the first to volunteer. While the rescuers were down the pit at work, the second explosion took place, even more deadly than the first, and Evans with nearly all the rescue party was buried beneath masses of fallen material.

The Grammar School is proud of her son. When duty called, he was not wanting. He played the man in the face of danger, and gave his own life to save the lives of others. As he was in death, so he was in life; always unselfish, always willing to help, strong in body and in will, singularly high-minded and pure.

Many old boys will remember his younger brother, the gallant young soul, Mervyn Evans, who died on the football field in a match against the Rochdale Rugby Football Club. The sympathy of all who knew them will go out towards the parents who taught their lads to be brave men.

A subsequent edition of the magazine reports:

The body of Emrys Evans was recovered on September 21st; it had been 73 days entombed in Cadeby mine. He was found beside a young inspector called Lewis; they seem to have been engaged in rescuing the bodies of two colliers who were killed by the first explosion. The inquest was held immediately after the body was brought up, and the funeral was held at Penarth on Tuesday, September 24th. The High Master with a few friends met the body when it was brought into Sheffield and a wreath was laid on the coffin in the name of his Old School. Steps are being taken to put up a memorial tablet to his memory in the School building. The Governors have given their sanction, and the matter will be laid before the next meeting of the O.M.A. executive.

A Cadeby Hero.

Memorial To Be Erected To Manchester Scholar.

An echo of the Cadeby pit disaster was heard at the Manchester Grammar School Speech Day, on Wednesday, when Mr. Paton, Highmaster, told a thrilling story of the heroism of Emrys Evans, an old scholar.

Evans, he said, was a mining student visiting Denaby, when his landlady, at breakfast, told him of the explosion. He asked for his pick and his pit-suit, hurried to the scene of the disaster, and was one of the first volunteers to join the rescue party which perished.

They were proud of him, and intended to place a memorial in the school