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Loos British Cemetery

Re-burial at Loos

14 March 2014

Twenty British soldiers who died during the First World War are buried with full military honours. The reb-burial was held for Private William McAleer and 19 unknown British soldiers at Loos British Cemetery on 14 March 2014.

The servicemen were laid to rest in Plot 20, Row G, Graves 20 - 26 of the cemetery almost a hundred years after they died. The service has been organised by the MOD, whose representatives also attended the ceremony.

"You can't describe the feeling of finding a casualty and seeing the headstone, and saying: 'I think we made a difference,'" said Carl Liversage, a CWGC representative in France.

Background

The remains of the 20 British servicemen were uncovered in a communal grave in Vendin Le Vieil, France. The remains of 30 German soldiers were also found in close proximity and were handed over to the German authorities. 

Due to the presence of regimental insignia, the allocation of some of the remains to specific regiments was possible: seven of the Royal Scots Fusiliers, two of the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders, one of the Northumberland Fusiliers and one of the York and Lancaster Regiment.

Nine soldiers remain completely unknown. Due to the high casualties in the regiments involved and the lack of personal artefacts, further identification has been impossible. Only one of the soldiers had an identity tag, and this was 13766 Private William McAleer of the 7th Battalion Royal Scots Fusiliers. All the aforementioned regiments will send representatives to the burial.
  

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