Unknown WWI soldiers buried in Belgium 101019 CREDIT CROWN COPYRIGHT
WWI

Unknown First World War Soldiers Buried In Belgium

Two of the bodies, identified as British, were carried to the ceremony by soldiers from The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. 

Unknown WWI soldiers buried in Belgium 101019 CREDIT CROWN COPYRIGHT

The ceremony was held at Wytschaete Military Cemetery, near Ypres (Picture: Crown Copyright).

Hundreds of people have gathered to mark the burial of 13 unknown soldiers who died fighting in Belgium during World War One.

The unidentified war dead, all from the UK and Commonwealth nations, were buried side-by-side with full military honours near Ypres.

A gun salute was fired from the same field in Flanders where the men lost their lives.

The ceremony, held at Wytschaete Military Cemetery, was led by the chaplain to 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.

"We remember and pray for all those who have suffered, and who still suffer, as a consequence of war," said Father Patrick O'Driscoll.

Fusiliers carry WWI war dead in Belgium 101019 CREDIT CROWN COPYRIGHT
The remains of two British soldiers were carried by troops from 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (Picture: Crown Copyright).

The service was attended by military representatives from various nations. 

Two of the bodies, identified as British, were carried to the ceremony by soldiers from the Fusiliers. 

The remains of the other soldiers were placed in a third coffin prior to the service.

As part of the ceremony, music was performed by British and German schoolchildren as a sign of peace and co-operation.

The service came as a result of work by the Dig Hill 80 project.

The crowd-funded archaeological project has seen excavators find 110 missing soldiers from a 1.1-hectare site known as 'Hill 80' in Wytschaete, west Belgium.

Fusiliers at the burial of 13 unknown WWI soldiers 101019 CREDIT CROWN COPYRIGHT
Soldiers from the Fusiliers pay their respects to the war dead (Picture: Crown Copyright).

The area was once the site of a German gun emplacement where many UK and Commonwealth soldiers were killed during the Great War.

Five hundred and fifty metres of trenches and 430 bomb craters were also excavated by the group. 

The site had been allocated for future housing. 

One of the archaeologists, Simon Verdegem, said:  "The aim was not only to excavate the trenches but also to recover the soldiers.

"Now, the British and German soldiers will finally be given a definitive and dignified resting place along with their comrades."

Three headstones were provided by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission to mark the soldiers' final resting place.

The German soldiers discovered on Hill 80 will be laid to rest on Friday at the German war cemetery in Langemark.