• Short Summary

    THE MASS FUNERAL OF 81 CHILDREN FROM THE TRAGIC WELSH VILLAGE OF ABERFAN TOOK PLACE TODAY (THURSDAY) IN A SIMPLE 13-MINUTE CEREMONY AT THE STEEP HILLSIDE CEMETERY OVERLOOKING THE SITE OF THE DISASTER.

  • Description

    THE MASS FUNERAL OF 81 CHILDREN FROM THE TRAGIC WELSH VILLAGE OF ABERFAN TOOK PLACE TODAY (THURSDAY) IN A SIMPLE 13-MINUTE CEREMONY AT THE STEEP HILLSIDE CEMETERY OVERLOOKING THE SITE OF THE DISASTER. LONG ROWS OF SMALL PINE COFFINS WERE LOWERED INTO TWO MASS GRAVES ONLY HALF A MILE (ONE KILOMETRE) FROM THE NOW DEMOLISHED PANTGLAS SCHOOL WHERE CHILDREN PLAYED AND DIED.
    AS WEEPING RELATIVES AND NEIGHBOURS STOOD WITH HEADS BOWED IN PRAYER, THOUSANDS OF MOURNERS FROM NEARBY COMMUNITIES LINED THE SLOPES AT THE OTHER SIDE OF THE VALLEY, THEIR EYES FIXED ON A GIANT CROSS OF HUNDREDS OF WREATHS WHICH MARKED THE CEMETERY.
    ALL WORK AT THE DISASTER SITE STOOPED, FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE LAST FRIDAY'S AVALANCHE OF BLACK COAL WASTE BURIED THE SCHOOL AND SEVERAL HOUSES, KILLING MORE THAN 150 PEOPLE. MESSAGES OF SYMPATHY AND THOUSANDS OF WREATHS FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD ARRIVED IN ABERFAN FOR THE FUNERAL. ONE WREATH FORMER A REPLICA OF THE SCHOOL. ANOTHER WAS FROM THE ITALIAN TOWN OF SAN REMO.
    A GREAT SILENCE FELL OVER THE VALLEY, WHICH, EVER SINCE THE MOUNTAIN OF SLUDGE DESCENDED, HAD ECHOED DAY AND NIGHT TO THE NIGHTMARE NOISE OF BRITAIN'S BIGGEST-EVER RESCUE OPERATION.
    ABERFAN ASKED THAT ONLY RELATIVES AND FRIENDS BE ALLOWED TO ATTEND THE FUNERAL. BUT ALL OVER BRITAIN FLAGS FLEW AT HALF-MAST, AND MEMORIAL SERVICES WERE HELD AT CHURCHES AND CHAPELS THROUGHOUT WALES.
    THE 12,000 MOURNERS STOOD WITH HEADS BOWED AS THE BISHOP OF LLANDAFF, DR. GLYN SIMON, SAID THE FIRST FORMAL PRAYERS. THEN THE CONGREGATION SANG A CHILDRENS' HYMN - "LOVING SHEPHERD ON MY SHEEP". FROM THE ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP OF WALES CAME THE FAMILIAR AND POIGNANT QUOTATION - "SUFFER LITTLE CHILDREN TO COME UNTO ME, BECAUSE OF SUCH IS THE KINGDOM OF HEAVE".
    MORE PRAYERS FROM THE REV. STANLEY LLYOD, A WELSH CONGREGATIONAL MINISTER, WHOSE BETHANIA CHAPEL IN ABERFAN HAD BEEN TURNED INTO A MORGUE. THEN THE HYMN - "JESU, LOVER OF MY SOUL" - AND IT WAS OVER.
    A SEARCHING GOVERNMENT INQUIRY IS TO BE HELD - BUT IN ABERFAN THERE WILL BE PERPETUAL GRIEF FOR HALF OF A GENERATION OF CHILDREN.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA6RW5Q4G3MPQZNKD2KBXYQ6FN6
    Media URN:
    VLVA6RW5Q4G3MPQZNKD2KBXYQ6FN6
    Group:
    Reuters - Incuding Visnews
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    27/10/1966
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:02:30:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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