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Two unknown soldiers given military burial a century after their deaths in the Great War

Photo: The coffins awaiting burial. Crown Copyright


Two unknown soldiers have been laid to rest more than 100 years after they fell serving their country during World War One. The service took place on Tuesday, April 30 at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s (CWGC) Ovillers Military Cemetery, on the Somme in France.

The Regimental burial party. Crown Copyright

The service, organised by the MOD’s Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre (JCCC), was conducted by the Reverend Stuart Richards, Chaplain to the 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (RRF).

While one solider was identified as a Northumberland Fusilier through artefacts found with his remains, no artefacts were found with the second solider. It is believed that he also died during the Capture of La Boisselle in July 1916. The second soldier was buried as an unknown soldier of an unknown regiment.

Both men were laid to rest by a burial party composed of members of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.

The coffins awaiting burial. Crown Copyright

Despite extensive research, it was not possible for the JCCC to identity either of these soldiers due to the high number of casualties. Louise Dorr, JCCC said: “It’s a matter of great personal sadness that we have not been able to identify either of these brave men, return their names to them and bury them in the presence of their families. That said, their military family is here to mourn them both and lay them to rest with the dignity, respect and honour they deserve.”

The remains of both soldiers were found in March 2015, in a ploughed field north of the village of La Boisselle in an area that was known as Mash Valley during the Battle of the Somme (July 1916).

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