Soldiers killed in First World War laid to rest

Local children from the Peace Village lay wreaths for the 19 unknown soldiers.
Local children from the Peace Village lay wreaths for the 19 unknown soldiers.

Nineteen unknown British soldiers who lost their lives during the First World War have finally been laid to rest, including one from Northumberland’s regiment.

The comrades in arms have found their final resting place at the New Irish Farm Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery in Ypres, Belgium.

Last week’s ceremony involved soldiers from English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh regiments. The service was organised by the Ministry of Defence’s Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre (JCCC), which is part of Defence Business Services.

It was conducted by Rev Iori Price CF, Chaplain to the 1st Battalion, The Royal Anglian Regiment, while piper Pierre Dervaux led the procession into the cemetery.

Local children came to lay wreaths on the graves of the deceased.

The bodies of the soldiers were uncovered following groundwork at an industrial development at Briekestraat, Ypres. The site is an original wartime cemetery, created by the Army under war conditions.

JCCC investigations established that, of the 19 soldiers, one had served with the Northumberland Fusiliers, while seven were with other regiments, including Essex; Monmouthshire; Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders; and Royal Irish. With no regimental artefacts found, the remaining 11 were buried as Known Unto God.

During the burial service, all the coffins were in the burial plots with the exception of one, which was carried in as the focus of the ceremony by the Essex Regiment, now the Anglians.