Two unknown soldiers have been laid to rest at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s Ovillers Military Cemetery on the Somme more than 100 years after they fell serving their country during World War 1…

The service, organised by the MOD’s Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre (JCCC), took place on Tuesday 30 April and was conducted by the Reverend Stuart Richards, Chaplain to the 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.

Whilst one solider was identified as a Northumberland Fusilier through artefacts found with his remains, sadly no artefacts were found with the second. It is believed that he also died during the Capture of La Boisselle in July 1916. The second soldier was buried as an unknown soldier of an unknown regiment and both were laid to rest by a burial party composed of members of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.

Despite extensive research, it was not possible to identity either soldier due to the high number of casualties. Louise Dorr, JCCC said: “It’s a matter of great personal sadness that we have not been able to identify either of these brave men and bury them in the presence of their families. That said, their military family is here to mourn them both and lay them to rest with the dignity, respect and honour they deserve.”

The remains of both soldiers were found in March 2015, within a ploughed field north of the village of La Boisselle in an area that was known as Mash Valley during the Battle of the Somme (July 1916).

The Reverend Stuart Richards said: “Although its over 100 years since the end of the World War 1, people are still moved to remember and honour the fallen, and as each year yields yet more bodies it is a deep privilege to take part in the burial of British soldiers and continue the tradition of a century of remembrance.”