b. 1849 Llanelli, Carmarthenshire. d. 01/1939 Pontypridd, Glamorgan.
DATE OF AM ACTION: 11/04/1877 Tynewydd Colliery, Porth, Glamorgan.
Rees Thomas was born in Llanellii, Carmarthenshire, one of four children of Thomas and Jane Thomas. After basic education, Rees followed his father down the pits. In 1871 he married Rachael John and they had twelve children in all (7 boys and 5 girls). Little else is known about Rees following his actions at Tynewydd Colliery in April 1877. He died in January 1939 aged 90 and is buried in Pontypridd.
On the llth of April the Tynewydd Colliery, situated near Porth, 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-^amed 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.
BURIAL LOCATION: GLYNTAFF CEMETERY, PONTYPRIDD, WALES.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: NATIONAL MUSEUM OF WALES, CARDIFF, WALES.
ON LOAN TO THE BIG PIT MUSEUM, BLAENAVON.
NO IMAGE AVAILABLE