15 March 2018

Two First World War soldiers buried alongside their comrades

A burial service was held at CWGC Orchard Dump Cemetery in France, today for two First World War soldiers.

Their remains were discovered separately during excavation work near the town of Gavrelle.

One soldier was found with a Durham Light Infantry shoulder title and cap badge, as well as a 7th Battalion badge. Intensive research and DNA testing was carried out but unfortunately, to date, his identity has not been established.

In the uniform pocket of the other soldier a Bedfordshire Regiment cap badge was found. It is believed he died during the Battle of Gavrelle in April 1917, but it has not been possible to identify him.

They were buried with full military honours. The CWGC provided the headstones and will care for their graves in perpetuity.

The CWGC’s Mel Donnelly said: “Today these soldiers, unknown but not forgotten, were laid to rest alongside their comrades at the CWGC Orchard Dump Cemetery. They have been buried with the honour and dignity their sacrifice deserves and the CWGC will care for their graves, and the graves and memorials to all those who died, with that same honour and dignity forever. We will remember them all.”

The service, led by The Revd John Swanston CF, 1st Battalion, The Rifles, was attended by British Defence Staff, regimental representatives from both The Rifles and Royal Anglian Regiments and local dignitaries. The Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre organised the service.

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