Ten missing First World War British soldiers identified

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Ploegsteert Memorial to the Missing, Belgium

Ten missing British soldiers who were killed in the early months of the First World War have been positively identified after almost 100 years.

The men were members of 2nd Battalion, The York and Lancaster Regiment and were killed on 18 October 1914. It is possible they were taken by surprise, one soldier still had a pipe in one hand and a water bottle in the other.

They were identified through DNA samples supplied by surviving relatives.

Tracing the fallen

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) hopes to identify five other sets of remains and believes two of those may be Lance Sergeant George Edwardes, who was born in Middlesbrough, and Thornaby-born Private David Wilson Williams, both of whom are commemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial in Belgium.

Defence minister Lord Astor of Hever said: ‘Although these soldiers fell almost a century ago, the Ministry of Defence still takes its responsibility extremely seriously to identify any remains found, trace and inform surviving relatives and to provide a fitting and dignified funeral so they rest in peace.’

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October ceremony

The soldiers will be re-buried with full military honours at a Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery in October. The ceremony will be organised by the 4th Battalion, the Yorkshire Regiment, which traces its history back to The York and Lancaster Regiment.

The 10 soldiers to be positively identified and their relatives traced were:

Private Herbert Ernest Allcock (32) (Leeds)

Private John Brameld (30) (Sheffield)

Corporal Francis Carr Dyson (26) (Wakefield)

Private Walter Ellis (Doncaster)

Private John Willie Jarvis (Rotherham)

Private Leonard Arthur Morley (Box Hill, Surrey)

Private Ernest Oxer (Rotherham)

Private John Richmond (Nottingham)

Private William Alfred Singyard (30) (Newcastle)

Lance Corporal William Henry Warr (27) (Sherborne, Dorset)

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One Response to Ten missing First World War British soldiers identified

  1. Joan Usher- Willems says:

    Thank you for all your effort in identifying these war heros. I was so hoping that my great uncle was one of them.

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