Newport Docks Disaster plaques given new home
2:02pm Sunday 25th August 2013 in Gwent news
Two plaques have been given a new home at St Mark’s Church Newport after a metal thief attempted to steal one.
The commemorative plaques were moved from the Newport Dock Disaster Memorial in St. Woolos cemetery, after a thief tried to steal one. The plaque was later found dumped in a hedge, most likely due to its extreme weight.
One 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.
Reverend Canon Andrew Willie said: “From my point of view it’s a great way of saying that St. Mark’s has a special role to play in the life of the city”.
The plaques were brought to St. Mark's three weeks ago, as a measure of safeguarding and preservation by the Harbour Commissioners, who also paid for their mounting in the building. Plastic replicas will be placed on the monument in the cemetery.
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 largely to the boy hero's work a man, whose arm was trapped by a 12-inch beam, was rescued without serious injury.
To celebrate the church's latest additions, there will be a service of commemoration and dedication in St Mark's on 1 September, 10.30 am. The Mayor of Newport, Councillor Cliff Suller, will be among those attending and lay a wreath.
Rev Willies hopes to welcome at least 150 people to the service, where verses of Collins' poem will be sung, which have been adapted to fit alongside three verses of the Remembrance Sunday Hymn, O Valiant Hearts.
Rev Willies said: “We hope that in future years a service of commemoration will be held in St. Mark's on the Sunday nearest to July 2nd, the actual anniversary of the disaster.”
Monty Dart's film on the 1909 disaster will be shown in St Mark's new church room on 16 September, 7pm.
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