Tri-Service

New Memorial Honours Servicemen With No Known Grave

Article written by Lesley Woods
 
Their names were lost in time, their final resting places unknown. Today, almost a century after they were killed, more than 260 men were honoured at the unveiling of a new war memorial at Brookwood Military Cemetery near Woking in Surrey.
 
Carved into stone are the names of regular and reserve soldiers, sailors and airmen of all ages, from different backgrounds, who served across all branches of the Armed Forces during the First World War.
 
Many are newly recognised war casualties; some were officers and soldiers who died from their injuries and others were buried where they fell, often with no known grave site or details in official records.
 
Built by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission as a result of years of research, the new Brookwood 1914-1918 Memorial offers families and descendants a physical focal point and a place of pilgrimage for generations to come.
 
Pam Haines with the inscription of her Great Uncle's name
One of the first to lay a wreath was Pam Haines, directly under the inscription of her Great Uncle, Private Thomas Ernie Neppiras of the Royal Army Medical Corps.
 
Pte Neppiras was on his way home from war when he fell ill with malaria. He died on board HM Hospital Ship Ebani and was buried at sea in February 1919.
 
 
 
 
His family looked in vain for more details on his life and death until they were contacted about the new memorial.
 
Pam Haines said:
 
“I was absolutely thrilled to be invited to attend and participate in the unveiling because it includes my Great Uncle’s name.
 
"Having searched for him for so many years, we’re so grateful to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission for this wonderful act of remembrance.”