25 April 2018

Graves of two Australian soldiers identified more than 100 years after their death rededicated as part of ANZAC commemorations

Rededications services for two Australian soldiers were held during ANZAC Day commemorations at two CWGC cemeteries this morning.


Rededication service for Pte Attfield at Cairo War Memorial Cemetery

The service for Private Edward Attfield, of 5th Battalion, Australian Imperial Force (AIF), at CWGC Cairo War Memorial Cemetery in Egypt, was attended by members of Pte Attfield’s family, as well as the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

The Commission provided the headstone, which was engraved with his name and the personal inscription: “Beloved son of Mary and Charles I once was lost and now am found”.

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.

Rededication service for Pte Guest at Tyne Cot Cemetery

The service for Private William Guest, of 33rd Battalion Australian Imperial Force, at CWGC Tyne Cot Cemetery in Belgium, was attended by members of the ADF, local dignitaries and volunteers.

The Commission provided the headstone, which was engraved with his name and the personal inscription: “I once was lost and now am found”.

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.

Both services were organised by the Australian Defence Force, and followed the annual ANZAC Day services at the cemeteries.

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