Family of King Samuel Humphries visit the museum

We recently had a visit to the Heritage Museum and Garden from John Humphries together with his family. John was the youngest son of King Samuel Humphries who together with his father and three brothers worked at the Universal Colliery. The 1913 disaster claimed the lives of King’s father, also called King Samuel Humphries, his older brother John P Humphries, and his uncle Frank Humphries. King Samuel (senior) left a pregnant wife and five children.

John explained that King Samuel (Junior)was supposed to be working on the day the mine exploded but another miner, called Charlie Baker, asked him to swop shifts because his wife had just had a baby (the Saturday before the explosion).

King Samuel Humphries continued working in the mine until the outbreak of WW1 when he enlisted in the Royal Inniskillen Fusiliers. He spent time training in Ireland where he met his future wife. He served in the trenches in France before transferring to the Royal Engineers where he worked as a Tunneller. He had a narrow escape when German soldiers entered his tunnel and wiped out his unit. King Samuel only survived because he had gone to fetch candles from the store. Despised being gassed King Samuel survived the war and was awarded the Military Medal. THIS INFO IS KEPT AT THE DURHAM MINING MUSEUM.

After World War 1, King Samuel married Ellen, the woman he met in Ireland and they settled in Senghenydd. They had 5 children, Eileen, Terry, Kevin, Sam and John (the youngest of King’s children.