WWI

Unknown First World War Soldiers Are Laid To Rest With Full Military Honours

The men are believed to have been killed during the Battle of Passchendaele in 1917.

An unknown British soldier who is believed to have served with the Lancashire Fusiliers during the First World War has been laid to rest.

Two other unknown Australian soldiers were also buried at Tyne Cot Cemetery in Belgium.

The three are believed to have been killed in the Battle of Passchendaele which took place near the town of Ypres, between July and November 1917.

In total, half a million men died or were injured at Passchendaele, one of the most brutal battles of the First World War.

In May 2016 their remains were discovered by a civil engineering excavation, a mere 300 metres away from Tyne Cot cemetery.

Fragments of a Lancashire Fusilier uniform remained but the DNA tests have been unable to identify any relatives to establish his identity.

Tracey Bowers from the Ministry of Defence said they were fortunate that there were objects found with the remains which indicated the regiment.

“Unfortunately, we were still up to about 200 Lancashire Fusiliers killed around this location. We had a few artefacts that have helped us and we have attempted to do DNA but unfortunately, at the moment he is still unidentified.”

Thousands of casualties from the Battle of Paschendaele have never been recovered.

Veterans Minister and former army officer Tobias Ellwood was among those paying his respects. He told Forces News he was also inspired by the bravery of his own family.

 "I was motivated in fact to think about joining the armed forces because of the actions of my grandparents".

Each year remains of around 40 British soldiers from the Great War are found on battlefields in Europe and the Ministry of Defence's Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre based at the cemetery, who organised the ceremony, tries to identify them.

Tyne Cot Cemetery
12,000 headstones make Tyne Cot cemetery the largest Commonwealth War Grave in the world.