free geoipWho was Howell Williams? Wiki, Bio, Age, Family, Career, Cause of Death -

Who was Howell Williams? Wiki, Bio, Age, Family, Career, Cause of Death

Howell Williams Wiki – Howell Williams Biography

Howell Williams, a teacher who broke a window to help his students to safety during the Aberfan disaster in 1966, has died at the age of 82.

Howell Williams, from Treharris, was just 25 when the colliery spillway collapsed engulfing Pantglas Primary School on October 21. The disaster killed 144 people, including 116 children. Four teachers survived. Williams’ son, Jonathan Williams, 53, said he “was a lovely man” but that he had “struggled” after the disaster. Howell Williams died at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital, Llantrisant, Rhondda Cynon Taf, on March 29. Jonathan Williams, who now lives in Radyr, Cardiff, said: “I think he changed him, I think he was a different man after 25 than he was before. If it had happened in the modern era, it would have been very different. There was no advice then.” The newly qualified physical education teacher helped many children escape by breaking a classroom window.

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Howell Williams was 82 years old.

On the BBC’s Surviving Aberfan program

Survivor Bernard Thomas recounted how Mr. Williams saved his life. My memory is of the other children screaming,” he had said to himself. I looked around and saw my teacher and thought ‘I’ll get to Mr. Williams now’ and he helped me out through the small glass panels at the top of the classroom door.” Another Aberfan survivor, Gareth Jones, added: “The other teachers who survived, Hettie, Rennie, and Mair, would sometimes see us upset and also be sad and give us a surprise. Howell was different. He would make you smile, and say something funny, and that helped a lot, too.

“He had been through trauma just like us kids, probably worse because he saw things he didn’t tell us about. But his help and support were invaluable.” Schoolgirl Dilys Pope, who was 10 at the time of the disaster, previously told the South Wales Argus: “My leg got caught on a desk and I couldn’t move and my arm hurt. The children were all over the place. The teacher, Mr. Williams, was also on the floor. He got free and broke the window in the door with a rock.” then out the window. I opened the classroom window and some of the children came out there. The teacher took some of the kids out and told us to go home.”

In 1997, Queen Elizabeth visited the village to help plant a cherry blossom tree in the Garden of Remembrance 30 years after the disaster. At the time, Mr. Williams spoke to BBC Wales Today’s Melanie Doel. He said: “I wasn’t looking forward to today, I don’t think anyone was, but now that we’ve all come together I don’t think there’s been a tear, it’s been quite a nice occasion.”

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