South West Wales

Pontardawe service for Gleision miners and accident boy

The four miners who died: Charles Breslin, Phillip Hill (top) and Garry Jenkins and David Powell (bottom, left to right)
Image caption The four men died when the mine flooded on 15 September

A memorial service is to be held in the Swansea Valley for four men killed in a mining tragedy as well as a boy of five who died nearby two days earlier.

First Minister Carwyn Jones and the Archbishop of Wales Dr Barry Morgan will attend the Pontardawe service.

Charles Breslin, Phillip Hill, Garry Jenkins and David Powell died at Gleision colliery on 15 September.

Schoolboy Harry Patterson who died in an accident on the drive of his Alltwen house will also be remembered.

The public service will be held at St Peter's Church at 14:00 GMT on Friday 25 November.

It is being organised by Neath Port Talbot Council.

Reading

Dr Morgan, a miner's son who grew up in a village close to the Gleision mine near Cilybebyll, Pontardawe, will lead the service.

Mr Jones will give the oration and the Lord Lieutenant of West Glamorgan, Byron Lewis, will deliver a reading.

Image caption Harry Patterson, on the right, with his brother Dylan

Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan, local MPs and AMs, civic leaders and representatives from the emergency services and mine rescuers are also expected to attend.

Mr Hill, 44, Mr Breslin, 62, Mr Powell, 50, and Mr Jenkins, 39, died and three others escaped when the drift mine flooded.

Their bodies were recovered from the mine on 16 September after initial hope that rescue teams might be able to find them alive.

Post-mortem examinations confirmed all four men died as a result of flooding in the pit.

Hundreds paid their respects at the miners' funerals last month.

Harry Patterson suffered head injuries in an incident involving a family car on 13 September.

Hundreds of people also attended his funeral where mourners also observed a minute's silence for the miners.

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