Stanford Merthyr Mine DisasterPrint Page Print this page

A monument commemorates miners killed in explosion in Stanford Merthyr Mine in 1905.

On the 29th October 1905, five miners and one of the directors of the colliery were killed trying to extinguish a fire in the pit.  Their deaths rocked the small mining community and represented the greatest loss of life on the South Maitland Minefields at that time. An inquest found that the mine had caught fire in the middle of the night in a spontaneous combustion. While nobody was in the mine when the fire started a massive explosion killed or injured many of the men working to seal off the mine. The six men were killed after sustaining serious injuries or burns caused by flying debris.

A memorial erected to the memory of the victims who lost their lives in the Stanford Merthyr Colliery disaster, was unveiled on Saturday afternoon. The unveiling ceremony was performed by Mr. Matthew Charlton, M.L.A., in the Kurri Kurri cemetery, in the presence of a large attendance, including the Rev. W. L. Pattison, of Sydney, and other clergymen. The proceedings were of an impressive nature, and brought back to mind the sad scenes witnessed on the day of the interment of the victims of the disaster which occurred on Sunday, October 29, 1905. The monument is erected over the graves of John Jones, James Greener, David Jones, John Evans, and George Fewins. The enclosure is 40ft x 8ft surrounded by finely dressed kerbing of best Sydney sandstone on solid foundations standing about 12 inches out of the ground, and surmounted with a substantial wrought iron railing. The enclosed area is tiled with black and white marble tiles at kerbing level, and laid on concrete foundations. This forms an elegant basement for the monument which is erected anglewise in the centre.

The monument is of the column type consisting of base, sub-base, die, and column with moulded base and cap, and finished with an urn. It is of the best Rutland olive-veined marble and the dimensions are 2ft l0in square at the base, with a total height of 14ft from the ground level. The workmanship is all that could be desired, the surfaces being well finished, and the mouldings sharp and accurate. The bottom base is enhanced by bronze wreaths attached to each face. The 'Die' bears inscriptions on face. The one on the front reads "This monument was erected by public subscription, to the memory and heroism of the men who lost their lives in the Stanford Merthyr Colliery disaster, October 29th, 1905. Not here, but in the hearts of their afflicted friends is their worth recorded."

Another face bears the names of the deceased, John Jones, James Greener, David Jones, John Evans, George Fewins. "To. live in hearts and leave behind is not to die." The third inscription is "Hero shrined with many a sweet sad thought their memory lingers still" ; and the fourth 'Honoured, beloved, and wept here our comrades lie." In addition to the monument erected by the memorial committee the widows of deceased have placed smaller mementos in the form of marble blocks bearing inscriptions, and placed on decks at the heads of their respective graves. The monument as it stands completed, is a worthy tribute to the memory of the brave men who sacrificed their lives, as also to the loving sympathy and public spirit of their comrades. The column was erected by Messrs. Meldrum and Markey (late G. P. Lock, Newcastle), at a cost of £63 14s, and the same firm also placed the tablets in position on behalf of the widows, at a cost of £62 10s, so that the total approximate cost with extras amounts to something like £130.
The Maitland Weekly Mercury (NSW),  21 September 1907.


Address:Hospital Road, Cemetery, Kurri Kurri, 2327
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -32.818356
Long: 151.463588
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Disaster
Approx. Event Start Date:1905
Approx. Event End Date:1905
Monument Designer:Messrs. Meldrum & Markey (late G. P. Lock, Newcastle),


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Saturday 14th September, 1907
Front Inscription

Was Erected By Public Subscription,
To The Memory And Heroism
Of The Men Who Lost Their
Lives In The Stanford- Merthyr
Colliery Disaster
29th October 1905

Not Here, But In The Hearts
Of Their Afflicted Friends
Is Their Worth Recorded.

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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