Britain Identifies the Remains of 10 Missing Soldiers

Britain has recently identified the remains of 10 British soldiers from the First World War. The remains were found in northern France five years ago, according to the Ministry of Defense. The remains belonged to men who volunteered with 2nd Battalion The York and Lancaster Regiment. The men were killed while facing German troops near the Flandres de Beaucamps-Ligny Castle on October 18, 1914.

Their remains were found during construction taking place near the Beaucamps-Ligny village in 2009. The bodies have finally been identified after the authorities were finally able to match DNA with surviving relatives. There has been remains of five more soldiers discovered during the construction which has yet to be identified; however, the Ministry of Defense said the work will continue.

Commodore Ian Bisson from the Joint Casualty and Compassionate Center for the Ministry, has relayed to the Global Post that the identification process has been difficult but quite successful. He hopes they will be able to identify the five newest remains. Nine of the bodies had relatives still living in England, while the tenth man had relatives in Canada. All of the men will be given a proper burial with full military honors.

When the remains were discovered, Frederic Motte, the local mayor, told AFP that the builders came across a skull while they were clearing space for a sewage treatment plant for a new social housing development.

Motte reported they had alerted the police and the prosecutor’s office prior to digging further. Then they discovered military paraphernalia like bullets and bandoliers. He also stated they knew the military men were English because of the buttons on their uniforms which had the regiment’s initials on them.

Some of the bodies were caught off guard when they were slain. One man had a canteen in one hand and a pipe in another.

Evette Champion

Evette Champion is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE