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Reburials France

Reburials France

18 August 2014

Two British soldiers who died during the First World War and three British soldiers who died during the Second World War will be buried with full military honours in France on 27 and 28 August 2014.

Two unknown British casualties of the Second World War, initially believed to be Germans, will be laid to rest individually at Fontenay Le Plesnel War Cemetery at 09.30 on 27 August. Another British casualty of the Second World War, believed to be a victim of the Battle for Caen (June to August 1944), will be buried at La Delivrande War Cemetery at 11.00 on 27 August.

The two casualties of the First World War were found on separate occasions in the Somme area of France. One will be buried at Bouzincourt Communal Cemetery Extension at 09.00 on 28 August and the other at Adelaide Cemetery, Villers Bretonneux at 10.45 on 28 August.

The British Ministry of Defence, together with the CWGC, will organise the re-burial of the five servicemen.


Background

Two British soldiers of the Second World War initially believed to be Germans, but handed to the CWGC by the German authorities, after initial investigations confirmed they were either British or Canadian. The remains were found near Cheux, west of Caen in Normandy in the vicinity of the battlefield of operation Epsom of June 1944 in the late summer of 2008. Further research confirmed that the soldiers were from the British forces. The two casualties are to be buried individually as British Soldiers of the Second World War, "Known unto God" at Fontenay Le Plesnel War Cemetery (Plot I, Row K, Graves 4 & 5).

In November 2012, human remains were found at Herouville St Clair in Normandy by a hunter on cultivated fields. It is believed that the casualty was a victim of the Battle for Caen. Initially it was not clear whether the casualty was of British or Canadian nationality as both were involved in the fighting. As there was an indication of possible Canadian nationality, experts from the Canadian authorities examined the remains and were able to confirm British nationality. The casualty will be buried as a British Soldier of the Second World War "Known unto God" at La Delivrande War Cemetery (Plot V, Row C, Grave 6).

In October 2013, a local landowner discovered human remains in one of his cultivated fields on the outskirts of Bouzincourt. It is believed that the casualty was a victim of the Battle of Albert (1 - 13 July 1916). The casualty was found with a number of different regimental badges that he had collected. The casualty will be buried as a British Soldier of the Great War "Known unto God" at Bouzincourt Communal Cemetery Extension (Plot I, Row K, Grave 11).

During August 2013, human remains were uncovered during trench work for a new gas pipeline on the outskirts of Villers Bretonneux. From artefacts found with the casualty, it was apparent that he was from the British forces who, along with the Australians, had been involved in fighting around the area, particularly during 1918. The casualty will be buried as a British Soldier of the Great War "Known unto God" at  Adelaide Cemetery, Villers Bretonneux (Plot II, Row R, Grave 3).