US News: Unknown WWI soldiers to be laid to rest a century after they died - - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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US News Unknown WWI soldiers to be laid to rest a century after they died

14:15  10 october  2019
14:15  10 october  2019 Source:   news.sky.com

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a herd of cattle standing on top of a dirt field: Soldiers stand among rubble in Wytschaete in June 1917 © Getty Soldiers stand among rubble in Wytschaete in June 1917

Thirteen unknown soldiers who died fighting in Belgium during the First World War will be laid to rest today, more than a century after they died.

The war-dead, all from the UK and Commonwealth nations, will be buried side-by-side with full military honours near Ypres.

It has not been possible to identify the 13 unknown soldiers, but at least two are believed to be British.

The ceremony at Wytschaete Military Cemetery in Heuvelland forms one of the final chapters to the Dig Hill 80 project, which discovered the remains of 110 soldiers.

The project led a 1.1 hectare crowdfunded archaeological excavation at the former site of Hill 80 in Wytschaete, on land that had been allocated for future housing development.

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The remains of two World War I soldiers have finally been laid to rest nearly 100 years after they were killed in action, and three years after they were

a group of people in a garden: The ceremony will take place at Wytschaete Military Cemetery on Thursday. File pic © Other The ceremony will take place at Wytschaete Military Cemetery on Thursday. File pic

550 metres of trenches and 430 bomb craters were excavated in the dig between April and July 2018, with the remains of 110 soldiers - including British, French, German and South African men - discovered.

Dig Hill 80 was highly publicised at the time, attracting international media attention and celebrity patronage from comedian Al Murray and support from military historian Dan Snow.

The service later will be conducted by Father Patrick O'Driscoll, chaplain to the 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, supported by present-day serving fusiliers from the regiment who form the bearer parties and a firing party.

The casualties will be interred in three coffins, with three Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstones marking their collective final resting places.

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The remains of two World War I soldiers who were killed in action in France nearly 100 years ago have been laid to rest at a military cemetery. The remains of Lt John Pritchard and Pte Christopher Douglas Elphick were discovered in 2009 by a French farmer clearing his field.

An unknown member of the First World War -era Russian Expeditionary Force in France, whose remains were found earlier this year in France’s northeastern department of Marne, will be laid to Russia and France lost some 3 million and 1.5 million soldiers respectively in the First World War .

Two coffins will each contain one unknown soldier, with a third containing the partial remains of 11 unknown individuals.

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The casualties will be interred together in keeping with burial tradition, ensuring that those who served and died together are buried and commemorated together.

Hill 80 was the site of a windmill before the First World War, but became an entrenched German gun position following the capture of the village of Wytschaete in 1914.

The location afforded observational advantage to the Germans as it overlooked the town of Ypres and formed part of the Messines Ridge.

The site remained in German hands until the Battle of Messines in June 1917 when it was recaptured.

Hill 80 was again taken by the Germans during the Battle of the Lys in 1918, before finally returning to Allied hands in September 1918.

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