Tomorrow marks the anniversary of one of Wales' worst mining disasters, when 268 people lost their lives.

The Abercarn disaster of September 11, 1878, is believed to have happened when gas was ignited by a safety lamp, setting off a huge explosion at the village's Prince of Wales Colliery.

There were 325 workers below ground at the time, and rescue teams were sent into the pit to search for survivors amid the smoke, flames and rubble.

Among the rescuers was John Harris, who slid down a guide rope to help miners trapped by a stuck cage, 295 feet underground.

Harris' efforts saved 95 lives and earned him the Albert Medal for gallantry, an honour that was a precursor to today's George Cross.

Some 268 men and boys died in the disaster, and a decision was made to close the shaft, flooding it with water to extinguish the flames. As a result, the bodies of those who died in the incident remained underground.

Today they are remembered locally with a memorial stone at Abercarn cemetery and a pit wheel and bronze plaque at the site of the disaster.

The National Wales: Artist Roy Guy from Newport with his artwork depicting the Prince of Wales, Abercarn mining disaster at the Newbridge Memo (10270367)

A further memorial (pictured above) was erected in 2014, when an untitled painting by Newbridge-born artist Roy Guy was installed at the Newbridge Memo, featuring scenes of miners toiling underground, and a grieving woman with children. 

It is believed around 150 women lost their husbands in the disaster, and 340 children were left without fathers.

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