Second Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers in Italy
WWII

Can You Help Trace This Missing WWII Soldier's Family?

If a positive identification can be made, the soldier will be given a full military burial in Italy with a named headstone.

Second Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers in Italy

Researchers believe the unidentified soldier served in Second Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers (Picture: Crown Copyright).

An appeal has been launched to help find family members of a British soldier who was killed in action in October 1944.

The unknown soldier lay where he fell, during the battle to capture Monte Spaduro, for more than 70 years until his remains were uncovered in 2015.

After four years of research, the MOD’s Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre (JCCC) has identified two men they believe he could be - both from the Manchester area.

They are now searching for surviving family members, of the two men, to compare DNA samples.

Both of the men they believe it could be served with the 2nd Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers and were killed during the Allied Gothic Line Offensive in Italy on 23 October 1944.

The two possible men have been identified as:

Fusilier Joseph Frank Faulkner

He was the son of Joseph Faulkner and Mary Isabel Plant, born in October 1921 in Dartington, Cheshire.

His last known address was Worthington Avenue, Partington in Trafford.

Joseph had five brothers: Kenneth, George, Cyril, Harry and Jack and one sister, Mary. 

JCCC’s initial family research suggests that some of the descendants from these siblings could still be living in the Manchester area.

Missing WW2 soldier search artefacts
Some of the items found with the unknown soldier's remains (Picture: Crown Copyright).

Fusilier Walter Vickers

Son of Walter Vickers and Maggie Straker and born in April 1921 in Rusholme, Manchester.

His last known address was listed as Boynton Road, Rusholme.

It is believed Walter had three brothers and three sisters: Bernard, James, Geoffrey, Nita, Lorna and Elva.

Once again, the JCCC believe that the descendants of these siblings could still be living in the Manchester area.

If a positive identification can be made, the previously unknown soldier will be given a full military burial in Italy with a named headstone.

If you can help, please call Nicola on 01452 712612 ext. 6063 (office hours) / 07773 187075 or email her via, Nicola.nash101@mod.gov.uk.

Missing WW2 soldier search artefacts
Another item discovered with the serviceman's remains (Picture: Crown Copyright).