The short but noble life of George Herbert Soden, 1920 – 62
Royal Welsh Guard Fusilier 419403H
George Herbert Soden was born on 4th April, 1920 in Wrexham, Wales. George was raised by his uncle, Thomas Soden and aunt, Biddy. During WW2 George Soden was based at Crumlin, Wales guarding the Rail Bridge against German attack. It was here he met his future wife, Margaret.
George’s mother, Elizabeth Soden , was born with spinibifida and so was unable to rear the little baby. He was raised by Thomas and Biddy together with his cousins, Benny, who was blind, and Beaty. Elizabeth Soden died in 1929 in Wrexham.
George enlisted in the Welsh Guards during WW2 and on return to civilian life sought work as a physiotherapist but as he could find no work in that field, he turned to mining and found work at the colliery in LLingithlow.
He worked as a miner until the fateful day of the terrible accident at Llanhilleth. Cut into the sides of every tunnel there are cubby holes where miners can shelter in case of an explosion. On that teririble day in 1962 there was an explosion and George shoved first a fellow miner into the cubbyhole but did not have time himself to seek cover. He was killed immediately in the explosion. At 42 years of age he left his wife, Margaret (Hughes) and a boy, David , father of Richard Soden, the source of this remarkable story. His ashes were scattered in the rose gardens at Cwmbran Cemetery.
Looking at his short life at a distance perhaps it is easier to understand his selflessness in serving his country in war and saving his friend in the mine, after his experience of the lifelong selflessness of his uncle Thomas and Aunt Biddy.
[Source: Richard Soden, Cwmbran, Wales, grandson of George Herbert Soden, 18/6/2020]