28 September 2017

19 First World War soldiers buried at CWGC cemetery

Nineteen unidentified soldiers of the First World War were buried at the CWGC’s New Irish Farm Cemetery in Belgium today.

The soldiers, who served with various British regiments, were found following ground work at an industrial development at Briekestraat in Ypres, Belgium. The site is thought to be a war time cemetery, in all likelihood the original Irish Farm site, created by the Army under war conditions. It was believed at the time that all of the burials had been transferred to New Irish Farm, some 300 meters away.

Investigations established that of the 19 British soldiers, four served with the Essex Regiment, one with the Monmouthshire Regiment, one with the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, one with the Northumberland Regiment, and one with the Royal Irish Regiment. As no regimental artefacts were found with the remaining 11 they were buried as ‘Known Unto God’.

The service was led by The Reverend Iori Price CF, Chaplain to 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment. Unusually the ceremony involved the burial of casualties from English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh regiments. Organised by the Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre (JCCC), the service was attended by senior staff of the British Defence section, regimental representatives, local dignitaries and the general public.

One of the coffins was carried in as the symbolic focus of the ceremony by the Essex Regiment, now The Royal Anglian Regiment.

The Commission prepared the burial plots, provided the headstones and will maintain the graves in perpetuity.

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