Australian WWI soldier found after 87 years

10th February 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Feb 9, 2006 (AFP) - Australian officials are trying to identify the remains of a World War I soldier dug up last week in northern France with a view to giving him a proper military funeral nearly nine decades after he died.

PARIS, Feb 9, 2006 (AFP) -  Australian officials are trying to identify the remains of a World War I soldier dug up last week in northern France with a view to giving him a proper military funeral nearly nine decades after he died.

The skeleton of the soldier, believed to be an officer in the Australian Commonwealth Military Force judging from an insignia and revolver bullets found on him, was in a morgue in the French town of Beaurains, a representative of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission in France, Christopher Farrell, told AFP Thursday.

He said the remains and the objects found with it were being photographed and examined for a preliminary report to be handed to the Australian and British governments.

The remains were recovered Wednesday from the site where they were discovered: a shell crater some 50 metres from what used to be the heavily fortified WWI German trench system known as the Hindenberg Line.

The soldier had apparently been shot and fallen into the crater, where his body went undiscovered for 87 years before it was found on January 26.

A spokesman for France's INRAP archaeological institute, Pierre de Portzamparc, said "we are just about certain" that the skeleton was that of an Australian soldier killed in a September 1918 Allied assault on the German positions.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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