The scene at Y Farm Cemetery, near Bois-Grenier (Photo: Commonwealth War Graves Commission)

Centenary update: 15 British soldiers being reburied in France today

Posted on on 22 October 2014
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Fifteen British soldiers are being reburied today (October 22nd 2014) at a Commonwealth cemetery in France, 100 years after their deaths 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.  They served with the 2nd Battalion, York and Lancaster Regiment. Their names are below:

Private Herbert Ernest Allcock
Private John Brameld
Private William Butterworth
Corporal Francis Carr Dyson
Private Walter Ellis
Private John Jarvis
Private Leonard Arthur Morley
Private Ernest Oxer
Private John Richmond
Private William Alfred Singyard
Lance Corporal William Henry Warr

Relatives of the soldiers will be present at this morning's reburials at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's Y Farm Cemetery. The ceremony starts at 11.30am and 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. 

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 courtesy of Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Posted by: Peter Alhadeff, Centenary News