Skip to content

News

WW1 Soldier Buried With Full Honours

28 July 2016

More than a century after he died, the remains of a British WW1 soldier have been reburied with full honours at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Woburn Abbey Cemetery in France.

Lance Corporal Morrison of the 1st Battalion The Black Watch (Royal Highlander Regiment) was 29 years old when killed in action on 25 January 1915.

His remains were discovered at Cuinchy, near Arras, in December 2014. Insignia discovered with the remains included a spoon engraved with his service number – 5181. This, and the presence of other artefacts, led the MOD’s Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre (JCCC) to trace his family and determine LCpl Morrison’s identity via DNA.

Morrison Reburial family

Today’s ceremony was organised by the JCCC with support from The Black Watch, 3rd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland and the CWGC.

The moving service was attended by members of LCpl Morrison’s family and Regimental representatives and was led by the Reverend Stewart A Mackay CF, Chaplain The Black Watch 3rd Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland.

Background

Just days before Christmas 1914, the 1st Battalion of the Black Watch, along with others of the Division,Morrison Reburial received orders to redeploy from Ypres to Cuinchy to counter an anticipated German advance. On the morning of 25 January 1915, four German mines were detonated in the British front line and were followed by a concerted German attack which overwhelmed the defenders.

Three companies of John’s Battalion, along with other reinforcements, were thrown into the line in a desperate attempt to stabilise the position. It was during the hours of bitter fighting that ensued that John became one of the 59 fatalities suffered by his Battalion that day.

> Learn about Woburn Abbey Cemetery