Unknown First World War Kiwi soldier remains buried at Zillebeke - Zillebeke - 07/03/2017
The partial remains of an unknown First World War New Zealand soldier were buried with the partial remains of two British soldiers at 3pm on Tuesday, 7 March (3am Wednesday, 8 March NZ time) at the Perth (China Wall) Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery near Ieper, in Belgium.

The remains were determined to be those of a New Zealand soldier by a brass “NZR” shoulder title and because the remains were found in an area where the New Zealand Division was active over the winter of 1917 to 1918. The “NZR” shoulder titles were worn by soldiers of the Auckland, Canterbury, Otago and Wellington infantry regiments.

The three sets of partial remains were buried in a single grave with a headstone commemorating the national origin of those interred. Perth (China Wall) Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery was chosen because it is the resting place of both New Zealand Infantry and Lancashire Fusiliers soldiers. There are 19 known New Zealanders buried and four unknown New Zealanders commemorated in the cemetery.

New Zealand was represented at the burial by New Zealand Ambassador to Belgium His Excellency Gregory Andrews and European-based New Zealand Defence Force officers.

It is not uncommon for the remains of First World War soldiers to be discovered even today. This was the third New Zealand unknown soldier to be found in the past five years – the other two were buried in Mesen/Messines.

This year New Zealand commemorates the 100th anniversaries of the Battle of Messines on 7 June and the Battle of Passchendaele on 12 October. It was on the Western Front (France and Belgium) that New Zealand made its most significant contribution to the First World War, and where it suffered the greatest loss of life.

DSC_0007

DSC_0010

DSC_0011

DSC_0012

DSC_0013

DSC_0014

DSC_0015

DSC_0016

DSC_0018

DSC_0020

DSC_0023

DSC_0027

DSC_0031

DSC_0033

DSC_0034

DSC_0039

DSC_0043

DSC_0044

DSC_0045

DSC_0046

DSC_0047

DSC_0049

DSC_0050

DSC_0051

DSC_0060

DSC_0061

DSC_0065

DSC_0068

DSC_0075

DSC_0076

DSC_0079

DSC_0082

DSC_0083

DSC_0084

DSC_0085

DSC_0086

DSC_0089

DSC_0093

DSC_0096

DSC_0097

DSC_0099

DSC_0101
  Page made by Filip Van Loo.