13 June 2018

Four First World War soldiers buried alongside their comrades

A burial service was today held at the CWGC’s Loos British Cemetery in France for an unknown soldier of the Machine Gun Corps and three unknown soldiers of unknown regiments.

The remains of four British soldiers were found in the Vendin-le-Vieil area of France during construction works in December 2016. Found with the remains were two Machine Gun Corps shoulder titles, a Machine Gun Corps cap badge and several pieces of British military kit items.

Mel Donnelly, the CWGC’s Commemorations Manager, said: “Today these four men have been buried with respect and dignity alongside their comrades, close to where they fell. Although it has not been possible to identify them, we pay tribute to their sacrifice. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission ensures that the graves and memorials commemorating all those who served and fell are cared for with dedication in perpetuity.”

The Commission’s Loos British Cemetery was begun by the Canadian Corps in July 1917. The remainder of the cemetery was formed after the Armistice by the concentration of graves from smaller cemeteries and the battlefields over a wide area North and East of the village of Loos. It is in this area that the four casualties being buried today were discovered. Sadly almost two thirds of those commemorated here remain unidentified.

The service was organised by the MOD’s Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre (JCCC) and attended by British Defence Staff, regimental representatives and local dignitaries. Two Vickers machine guns were also placed by the Stone of Remembrance in the cemetery for the service.  

The CWGC provided the headstones and will care for the graves in perpetuity.

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