Walter John Rue was born on 17th September 1866 in Pitney, the 6th child born to Jacob Rue and Emma (nee Ball). He was baptised in Pitney by the Rector - L Sherrif Dudman on 14th October 1866.
Walter had 3 older brothers and 2 older sisters and went on to have one younger sister and two younger brothers, although he appears to have been closest to his older brother, Edward who was 3 years older than Walter. These two moved to South Wales together in th late 1880's.
Walter is living in Pitney with his parents & brothers & sisters in the 1871 census. Walter is shown as 6 years old.
In the 1881 census the family are still in Pitney. Walter is now shown as 14 years old and is a Labourer (F) - I assume the F means that he was a labourer on a farm, but this is only an assumption.
On 18th March 1886 Walter acted as a witness at the marriage of his brother Edward to Mary Jenkins in Llangan in Glamorgan. Neither Walter nor Edward could write at this time, neither of them being able to sign their names.
On 14th June 1887 Walter married Jane Pole in Pitney. Jane was from Catcott near Bridgewater. The witnesses were his brother Oliver Rue and her sister Lucy Pole. It seems that the Rue's were not literate, neither Walter nor Oliver being able to sign their names, whereas both Pole girls were able to at least sign their name.
Some time soon after Walter and Jane moved to South Wales.
On 25th August 1889 they baptised their first child, a daughter called Emma Anne. She was baptised in Llanharry but the family resided in, and she was born in, Llansannor.
Their first son was born on 3rd October 1890 in Tynant, Llanharry and was baptised, Arthur, on 28th December 1890 in Llanharry. At Arthur's baptism Walter is given as a labourer, however on Arthurs birth certificate it is more explicit and Walter is given as a "colliery labourer".
The 1891 census shows Walter Rue, aged 24 a "mason labourer" (? Ithink?), his wife Jane aged 27 and their two children the 1 year old Emma and the 6 month old Arthur. They were all living at Ty Nant, Llanharry.
Further sons were born : George on 18th May 1892 and Albert on 20th September 1893. Both were born in Llanharry and although George was baptised there on 7th August 1892 it appears that for some unkown reason, Albert was not baptised until 1895.
Walter was involved in an accident whilst at work at Merios Colliery in Llanharan Glamorgan on 8th January 1895.
It has been reported on a website regarding coal mining injuries that he received injuries by a fall of rock roof 3ft x 2.5ft x 6in thick close to the face while working out the coal. Pillar and stall Cannel seam".
He later died from those injuries on 31st July 1895, in Llanharry. He was just 28 years old, and described as a collier. His death certificate shows that he died from "injuries to the spine received at Merios Collierynon 8th January last from a stone falling on him"
An inquest was held on 5th August 1895, the details of which appear to have been lost, however I am sure that this would have been
reported locally at the time, and I hope to get further details at some time. The coronor was E Bernard Reece.
Walter and Jane had twin boys born on 7th September 1895, born at 6.45am in Llanharry, they were called Walter and Wallace. I would assume that they must have been conceived just before Walter's fatal accident. It is worth noting that their birth certificates show their father as Walter Rue, a Collier, and make no mention of him being deceased.
I have found some information on the colliery at Merios on the Welsh Coal Mines webpage. It was opened in the 1880's and closed around 1938. There were various accidents there and people died on at least 3 seperate occasions in accidents at the mine. At the time of Walter working there it appears to have been owned by The Welsh Slate and Property Co Ltd.
Walter's widow Jane found herself widowed aged just 32 and with a young family of 1 daughter aged just 6, 3 sons aged 5, 3 and 2 and heavily pregant with twins.
Jane had her 3 youngest sons baptised in Llanharry on 6th October 1895, this being the 2 year old Albert and the twins, Walter and Wallace.
The baby Wallace must have died soon after, he was buried in Llanharry on 11th October 1895.
Jane went on to marry and have at least 5 further children with Thomas Edwards.