A MEMORIAL to the men and children who died in Pembrokeshire's worst mining disaster will be rededicated on the 175th anniversary tomorrow (Thursday).

On February 14, 1844, a total of 40 people, including Joseph Harts a four-year-old child, died when the Landshipping Garden Pit drift mine flooded.

Fifty-eight men were working in the mine at the time of the disaster, the four men and 14 boys closest to the shaft's entrance were rescued.

The disaster occurred at around 3.30pm, during one of the highest tides of the year when the weight of the water broke through the roof.

The mine shaft travelled under the Cleddau River for over a quarter of a mile, with just three feet between the bed of the river and mine.

When water began seeping into the mine, workers were alarmed and began leaving the pit. But once above ground, the miners were reassured that the pit was safe and sent back in.

Dr Robert Llewellyn Davies. who has helped organised the rededication of the memorial, said the water would have broken through with an enormous rushing sound.

He said: "It broke through with such force that it was filling up at seven fathoms per minute. It was going at an enormous rate and the whole of the mine was flooded.

"There were 58 miners in that drift at the time, of which, sadly 40, didn't get out."

Dr Davies added: "What we now know is that there were at least four boys under the age of 10 and three were just 10.

"Sir John Owen and his colliery manager James Cole would have known that under the Coal Mines Act 1842 it was illegal for children under the age of 10 to work below ground."

Dr Davies questioned if the reason the records of the inquest were lost was that charges of manslaughter could have been brought against the colliery owner due to the children's ages.

Since the erection of the original memorial in 2002 further research has taken place and the final few missing names have now been uncovered.

The updated plaque will be attached to the memorial to remember all those involved in the tragedy.

The commemoration event will be held tomorrow starting at 7pm in Burnett's Hill Chapel, with a service lead by the Rev Huw George and Dr Davies.

After the memorial, there will be a torchlight procession to the memorial site and rededication service at Landshipping Quay.

On Friday Dr Davies will be hosting a talk and discussion on the disaster at Lawrenny Sports Club from 7pm.