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

Date of Event: 22 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.'

The 15 soldiers have until now been commemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial, a monument in Belgium to 11,000 Commonwealth troops who fell 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.

The 'Race to Sea' is the name given to attempts by the the opposing British/French and German armies to beat each other through the remaining gaps in the Western Front before deadlock set in during the autumn of 1914.

Source: Commonwealth War Graves Commission/various

Images: Peter Alhadeff, Centenary News

Posted by: Peter Alhadeff, Centenary News

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