Memorial dedicated to Newport Docks Disaster
10:12am Wednesday 4th September 2013 in News
Rev Canon Andrew Willie, Tom Lewis, grandson of Tom Toya Lewis and Cllr David Fouweather, great grandson of Tom Toya Lewis. Mayor and mayoress of Newport, Cllr Cliff Suller and wife Christine and Edward Fouweather, great great grandson of Tom Toya Lewis
A SERVICE of dedication and thanksgiving for the Newport Docks Disaster memorial was held over a weekend at a Newport church where two plaques has been moved.
The Argus reported last month that two plaques from a memorial to the disaster in St Woolos Cemetary have been given a new home at St Mark’s Church, Newport, after a metal thief attempted to steal one.
On Sunday a service of dedication and thanksgiving to the memorial led by Reverend Cannon Andrew Willie took place at the church, with mayor and mayoress Cliff and Christine Suller present.
Councillor David Fouweather, great-grandson of Tom 'Toya' Lewis, also attended the service.
The plaques were brought to St Mark’s earlier in the summer as a measure of safeguarding and preservation by the Harbour Commissioners, who also paid for their mountining in the building. Plastic replicas were to be placed on the monument in the cemetery.
The Newport Docks Disaster was the worst peacetime disaster to ever occur in Newport.
It took place on July 2 1909 when the walls of a new lock collapsed, trapping or crushing scores of men.
One of the memorial plaque commemorates the 39 people who died in the Newport Docks disaster in 1909 and the other reproduces the poem ‘Soldiers of Industry’ written by W.J. Collins, who was an editor at the South Wales Argus.
Tom 'Toya' Lewis, an Argus paper seller, was presented to King Edward VII and given the Albert Medal after volunteering to be lowered into the collapsed trench.
Thanks to the boy a man was rescued without serious injury.
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