Mount Kembla Disaster WindowPrint Page Print this page

The stained glass window was erected in memory of the ninety-six men and boys who perished in the Mount Kembla Colliery Disaster on the 31st July 1902. 

At around 2.00 p.m. on 31 July 1902 a large volume of flame and smoke was seen to burst from the main tunnel of the Mount Kembla colliery near Wollongong. A massive explosion in the mine resulted in the tragic loss of 96 lives and many serious injuries. A royal commission was set up to investigate the disaster. The cause of the explosion was found to be the ignition of firedamp or methane gas supplying a miner`s light. The explosion generated a coal dust explosion that wrecked a large portion of the mine. The recommendations of the royal commission included more testing for gas, improvements in ventilation and shot-firing practices, and the use of safety lamps where gas was present. The miner`s safety lamp has now been replaced by modern, electric lamps and other safety equipment. 38 victims are buried in the Anglican Church grounds.

Last Sunday afternoon, in the presence of a thronged congregation, a beautiful window was unveiled in the Church of England at Mount Kembla and solemnly dedicated by Archdeacon Gunther. Immediately before the service of dedication, evening prayer was said by Rev. G. D' Arcy- Irvine, the special second lesson being St. John X. concerning the Good Shepherd, which is the subject of the window. The Archdeacon spoke very impressively and subsequently read a statement with reference to the placing of the memorial in the church. The window is a good one and has been much admired. It presents the Redeemer as the Good Shepherd in the act of holding open the door of the fold into which the flock are entering, while with one hand a lamb is held in his bosom. The inscription, which was read aloud on Sunday is, "In memory of ninety-six men and boys who died by reason of the disaster at the Mount Kembla Colliery on 31st July, 1902." Archdeacon Gunther also preached at St. Michael's, Wollongong, on Sunday morning, and returned to Sydney on Tuesday.
Illawarra Mercury (Wollongong, NSW), 21 October 1903.


Address:301 Cordeaux Road, Soldiers & Miners Memorial Anglican Church, Mount Kembla, 2526
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -34.432446
Long: 150.819242
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
View Google Map


Monument Type:Window
Monument Theme:Disaster


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Sunday 18th October, 1903
Front Inscription


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