Ploegsteert Memorial to the Missing, Belgium

First World War ‘Race To The Sea’ British soldiers to be reburied

Posted on on 09 October 2014
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Fifteen British soldiers are to be reburied at a Commonwealth cemetery in France on October 22nd 2014, a century after they were killed in fighting near the Belgian border.

They were caught in German machine gun fire during an offensive in the valley of the River Lys, part of a series of First World War battles which became known as the 'Race to the Sea.'

Their bodies were found five years ago between the French villages of Beaucamps Ligny and Radinghem.

The 15 soldiers have until now been commemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial, a monument in Belgium to 11,000 Commonwealth troops who fell in the border area south of Ypres and have no known grave.

With the use of DNA, 11 of the men have been identified by the UK Ministry of Defence. They served with the 2nd Battalion, York and Lancaster Regiment.

The soldiers will be reburied at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's Y Farm Cemetery at 11.30am on October 22nd 2014. The ceremony is open to the public.

Y Farm, near the village of Bois Grenier, south of Armentières, was named after a nearby farm. More than 800 First World War soldiers are buried or commemorated at the cemetery. Further details can be found on the CWGC website.

To discover more about the story of the 'Beaucamps Ligny Fifteen,' read an article by David Tattersfield, of the Western Front Association, on the WFA website. It can be found here.

Source: Commonwealth War Graves Commission/Western Front Association

Images: Peter Alhadeff, Centenary News

Posted by: Peter Alhadeff, Centenary News