Family of dead Polish worker wants to contact workmates

APPEAL: Karol Leon Reichel (kneeling at the front) with other steelworkers

APPEAL: Karol Leon Reichel (kneeling at the front) with other steelworkers

First published in Memory lane

THE family of a Polish refugee who worked at a Newport steelworks and later died from an asbestos-related disease are calling for help from his former colleagues.

Karol Leon Reichel, known as Leon to his friends, died in October 2008 aged 91.

A post mortem examination found he was suffering from asbestosis - a disease caused by exposure to asbestos dust.

Mr Reichel came to Wales in the 1950s and worked as a fitter at Llanwern Steelworks from 1962 to the early 1980s.

Solicitors are trying to trace where he worked after that time.

Last year his daughter June Reichel instructed Thompson Solicitors to investigate a claim for compensation.

She is now asking his former colleague to get in touch so the firm can build a picture of his employment at the steelworks in a bid to find out how and where he came into contact with asbestos.

Mrs Reichel said: “When my dad died we hadn't yet been diagnosed with asbestosis.”

She said the family has lost touch with her father’s work colleagues and is now urging any who remember him to get in touch.

Amanda Jones from Thompsons Solicitors said they had acted on behalf of a number of men who had gone on to suffer asbestos-related disease and they were interested in speaking to anyone remembered working with Mr Reichel.

Anyone who can help is asked to call Ms Jones on 01792 484922 or e-mail on

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