TWO Gwent children who were brutally murdered close to 100 years ago had their restored graves unveiled on the weekend.

Hundreds of people from across the country headed to Abertillery’s Brynithel Cemetery for the re-dedication of the graves of Freda Burnell, eight, and Florence Little, 11, who were both killed 97 years ago.

Author Neil Milkins, who lives in Abertillery, said he was pleased that the new graves could finally be unveiled.

“I originally got involved with this tragic case after reading a piece by Argus journalist Meryl Rees in 1984,” he said.

“I then wrote a book on it.

“Years after that, lots of people noticed that the victims’ old graves were dilapidated and falling apart.

“That is when two councillors, Gill Clark and Julie Holt, and myself decided to set up a campaign to raise money for a new grave.”

And in under eight months, £4,000 was raised to restore the graves.

He added: “It was hard work but we managed to get the money. Thanks all.”

At the unveiling on Saturday was Florence Little’s niece, Susan Lloyd, who believes the new graves will allow her aunt to “finally” rest in peace.

“It is truly wonderful what has happened today,” said Ms Lloyd, who lives in Rogerstone.

“We all enjoyed the bands performing in memory of Florence and Freda at the theatre.

“And the new grave means my aunt can finally be at peace.”
Another relative Graham Weeks, who lives in Ealing, added: “I am pleased I could make it.

“It is very emotional being here.

“But I think they will both be happy with their new graves. God bless them.”

Freda went missing on February 5, 1921 and her body was found in an alley in Abertillery the next day.

Shop assistant Harold Jones, then 15, was arrested and charged with murder, but was later acquitted and released.

Less than three weeks after being freed, Jones then lured Florence into his home, where he killed her.

After being arrested again, Jones owned up to his crimes. Just two weeks short of his 16th birthday, he escaped the hangman’s noose and was sentenced to life in prison. 

He was eventually released in 1941.