Soldiers of the Royal Anglian Regiment carried in one of the coffins as a symbolic focus for the ceremony on September 28 (Photo © MOD Crown Copyright - Ssgt Dan Bardsley RLC)

19 First World War soldiers buried at Commonwealth cemetery in Belgium

Posted on on 03 October 2017
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Nineteen soldiers of the British Army who fell on the battlefields of Flanders have been laid to rest at New Irish Farm CWGC cemetery near Ypres.

Their remains were found during work on a nearby industrial development, thought to have been the site of an original military cemetery created during the Great War.

None of the soldiers has been identified but it is known that they served with English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh regiments.

Investigations by the UK Ministry of Defence have linked eight of the men to their units.

Four served with the Essex Regiment, and four others belonged respectively to the Monmouthshire Regiment, the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, the Northumberland Regiment and the Royal Irish Regiment.

As no regimental artefacts were found with the 11 others, they were buried beneath headstones bearing the inscription 'Known unto God'.


The service, on 28 September 2017, was organised by the defence ministry's Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre (JCCC). It was led by the Rev Iori Price CF, Chaplain to 1st Battalion the Royal Anglian Regiment.

A representative from the Irish Army joined British military officers for the ceremony. 

Sue Raftree, of JCCC, said: "It is very unusual for there to be 19 First World War soldiers from English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh regiments buried in one ceremony. It has been a privilege for the Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre to organise this service."

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC), which cares for New Irish Farm Cemetery, prepared the soldiers' burial plots and headstones.

Liz Sweet, CWGC’s Director of External Relations in Western Europe said: "We, at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, are delighted that the sacrifice of these 19 soldiers has been recognised by today’s event and will now be cared for in perpetuity by the Commission."

Sources: UK Ministry of Defence; Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Images © MOD Crown Copyright - Ssgt Dan Bardsley RLC

Posted by: CN Editorial Team