A PUBLIC service to remember 62 adults and children whose remains and memorials were found at a chapel graveyard will take place next week.

The remains of those laid to rest at the former Lion Terrace Chapel and graveyard in Gilwern, near Abergavenny, were removed last year and the Primitive Chapel demolished, together with eight other buildings, to make way for the scheme to dual the Heads of the Valleys road between Gilwern and Brynmawr.

Among the children buried in the graveyard are Thomas Watkins, who died at just ten months old on March 1, 1847 and Benjamin Watkins, who was one year and two months old when he died on October 14, 1870.

An appeal by the construction firm Costain Ltd to trace any relatives of those buried there proved unsuccessful.

Phil Baker, Costain Ltd’s community relations manager said the remains will be placed in an open grave at nearby Llanelly Cemetery on Church Road ahead of the service, which will be led by Rev Dr Stephen Wigley, chairman of the Wales Synod of the Methodist Chapel and Rev Cath Lewis.

Prayers will be read and hymns sung at the graveside. The five headstones, together with a new one, will be put in place at a later date.

A service, attended by representatives from Clydach Methodist Church, Abergavenny Methodist Church and Costain Ltd, was held on the site in September to remember those who were laid to rest before the remains were removed. They were then taken by private ambulance to a nearby Chapel of Rest.

The arrangements have been made by Costain Ltd in liaison with the Welsh Government, Rev Lewis, T J Brown & Sons Funeral Directors and Monmouthshire council. The cost of the removal, reinternment and new headstones is being funded by Costain Ltd.

The public service will be held at 2pm at Llanelly Cemetery on April 28.