Tuesday, March 18, 2014


A fine and fitting funeral after 99 years for British WWI soldiers killed in battle and buried in a mass grave.

Twenty British soldiers killed in action during the First World War have finally been laid to rest with full military honors, almost 100 years after they died.

The soldiers who perished in the Battle of Loos in 1915 were found in 2010 during clearance work for a new prison near Vendin-le-Vieil, north of Arras, in France.

Ruins of Loos: The battle featured the first British use of poison gas, and followed a four-day artillery bombardment along a six-and-a-half-mile front.

Only one of the troops discovered has been identified - Private William McAleer, of the 7th Battalion the Royal Scottish Fusiliers, part of the 45th Brigade, 15th (Scottish) Division.

Born in Leven, Fife, 22-year-old McAleer died shortly after the battle began and he was identified due to his body being found with his small home-made oval metal tag with his name on it.

Sacred ground: The Dud's Corner graveyard in Loos-en-Gohelle, near the site of the battle.

All 20 soldiers were given full military honours. Private McAleer's coffin was given his own burial plot, with his headstone reading ''13766, Private W. McAleer Royal Scots Fusiliers, 26th September 1915, age 22''.

Many of those buried in the cemetery are unidentified.

"Only the Dead have seen the End of War" - Plato


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