A burial service for two unknown soldiers who lost their lives during World War One was held on Tuesday 26 October 2021, at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s (CWGC) Perth Cemetery (China Wall) near Ypres, Belgium.
The service was organised by the MOD’s Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre (JCCC) Commemorations Team, also known as the ‘MOD War Detectives’.
The service was attended by representatives of The Royal Anglian Regiment who were honoured to carry out this duty, although there was little evidence of these two soldiers having any association with them.
Despite extensive research carried out by the JCCC, neither of these men could be identified and they were buried as unknown soldiers of unknown regiments.
Louise Dorr, JCCC said:
“It is always incredibly sad when we have to bury British soldiers without being able to return their names to them. Sadly, in this case, these two men were found with nothing that gave us any clues as to who they might have been. Although we couldn’t name them and tell their families, they have been buried with full military honours from their Army family and the UK Ministry of Defence.”
The service was conducted by the Reverend Gary Birch CF, Chaplain to 1st Battalion, The Royal Anglian Regiment.
The Reverend (Major) Gary Birch CF said:
“We choose names for our children carefully and many of us really don’t like it when someone gets our name wrong. Therefore, when so many in this place, including the two we lay to rest today, do not have a name, it is important that we gather to pay our respects and honour them in this way, despite not knowing who they were”.
The graves and headstones of both soldiers were prepared by the CWGC who will now care for them in perpetuity.
Liz Woodfield, CWGC Director of External Relations, said:
“Although it has not been possible to identify these casualties by name, we are honoured to lay them to rest alongside their comrades at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s Perth Cemetery (China Wall). We proudly mark their graves, ensuring that their service and sacrifice will not be forgotten.”
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