12 April 2018

Burial and rededication services in April

The following burial and rededication services are due to be held at CWGC cemeteries this month.

Stone of Remembrance at Tyne Cot Cemetery 

Wednesday 18 April

A burial service will be held at CWGC New Irish Farm cemetery, Belgium, for Capt H J I Walker and six unknown soldiers of the First World War.

Multiple sets of remains were found west of the village of St Julien during April 2016. Despite extensive research it has only proved possible to identify one of them, through personal engraved items, as Capt Henry John Innes Walker, of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment. Capt Walker was killed in action on 25 April 1915.

Of the other six sets of remains, military insignia found with one of them confirms that he was a soldier of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, although the regiment lost too many men at the time for individual identification to be attempted. He will be buried as an unknown soldier of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment. There were no military or personal effects found with any of the others; they will be buried as unknown soldiers of unknown regiments.

They will all be buried with full military honours at 10.30am.

The service has been organised by the Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre and will be attended by British Defence Staff, regimental representatives and local dignitaries. The CWGC will provide the headstones. Capt Walker’s headstone will be engraved with his name and a personal inscription chosen by his family.

Saturday 21 April

A rededication service will be held at CWGC Menin Road South Military Cemetery in Ieper, Belgium, at 2pm for Private Cecil Henry Burns, of 46th Battalion Australian Imperial Force, and Driver Henry Martin Comerford, of 5th Field Artillery Brigade, Australian Imperial Force.

The circumstances surrounding Pte Burns death on 19 October 1917, or how he came to be buried as an Unknown Australian Soldier of the 46th Battalion, are unknown. 

In early November 1917, the 5th Field Artillery Brigade were based near Westhoek Ridge in Belgium supporting the attacks on Broodseinde Ridge and Passchendaele. At some time during this period, Dvr Comerford was badly wounded and died of his wounds on 7 November 1917. For reasons unknown, Dvr Comerford was buried as an Unknown Soldier of the Australian Field Artillery.

In 2015 researchers from the Fallen Diggers organisation pieced together evidence from a variety of sources to confirm that the two unknown soldiers graves in Menin Road South Military Cemetery were in fact the graves of Pte Burns and Dvr Comerford.

The service has been organised by the Australian Defence Force (ADF). In attendance will be 15 members of the ADF as well as local dignitaries and volunteers. The CWGC will provide the headstones, which will be engraved with their names and a personal inscription.

Wednesday 25 April

One hundred years after his death, a rededication service will be held at CWGC Tyne Cot Cemetery in Belgium for Private William Guest, of 33rd Battalion Australian Imperial Force.

Pte Guest died on 12 October 1917 during the Third Battle of Ypres. Witness accounts from his comrades state Pte Guest was asleep in his dugout when a shell landed near him, ‘the concussion of which killed him instantly’.

His body was believed missing and he was commemorated on the CWGC Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, however research has shown he is in fact buried in Tyne Cot Cemetery.

The rededication service will follow an Anzac Day ceremony at the cemetery, during which Pte Guest will also be remembered.

The service has been organised by the Australian Defence Force. The CWGC will be providing the headstone, which will be engraved with his name and a personal inscription.

 

A rededication service will be held for Private Edward Attfield at CWGC Cairo War Memorial Cemetery in Egypt, during the annual ANZAC Day commemorations.

Pte Attfield, of 5th Battalion, Australian Imperial Force (AIF), died between 27 January 1916 and 28 January 1916.

In May 1915, Pte Attfield was deployed to Gallipoli with the 5th Battalion. On 26 May 1915, he was wounded in action and sent to a hospital in Alexandria. He returned to Gallipoli in October 1915, where he served until December 1915.

On 30 January 1916, the body of an unknown Australian soldier was discovered near the Gizeh (Giza) Base in Egypt. A medical examination failed to identify the soldier and he was buried as an unknown soldier in the Old Cairo War Cemetery.

However, Army records show that Private Attfield was the only soldier missing from the region at the time the body was recovered. A researcher made a submission to the authorities to reconsider the case, which led to confirmation that the unknown soldier’s grave in Cairo War Memorial Cemetery is in fact the grave of Pte Attfield.

The service has been organised by the Australian Defence Force (ADF), and will be attended by members of Pte Attfield’s family and the ADF. The CWGC will provide the headstone, which will be engraved with his name and a personal inscription chosen by his family.

Latest News

A burial service for four Canadian First World War soldiers will take place at 13:30 at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s Loos British Cemetery in France.

Ten thousand members of the public will be invited to march past the Cenotaph to mark the centenary of the Armistice later this year, Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright announced today.

A mixed group of German and British soldiers from the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC), based in Innsworth, Gloucester, will visit Guernsey 10-20 July 2018.