Accident at Hirwaun 18.01.1879  
An accident of a serious nature, and which nearly proved fatal to the two persons happened on Hirwain pond on Saturday afternoon. A boy named Joseph Deer, aged 16, having just come up from Aberdare, after running about 100 yards on the old and rough ice, must needs slide on the new, and when he had gone about eight yards fell through. From his own account he could swim well, and had been in the water for some time before he was observed. The men first on the scene threw a line made up of scarves and bits of rope, &c., but unfortunately in throwing it they let go both ends.

Mr David Thomas (Later Viscount Rhondda), son of Mr Samuel Thomas, of Ysguborwen House, Aberdare, who was putting on his skates some 200 yards off when the alarm was raised, came up at this moment, and in trying to crawl along the ice fell through himself. The boy by this time was much exhausted and under water. Mr Thomas, who is a powerful swimmer, without any hesitation broke the intervening ice, and held the lad up till he got into shallow water, when those on the side were able to render assistance. For a short time it was feared that Mr. Thomas would fail in his efforts, as both rescuer and rescued disappeared several times under water owing to the latter clinging round Mr. Thomas with legs and arms.