Perth Cemetery - Funeral service for three unknown soldiers
On Tuesday 7th March 2017 at 15.00h a Funeral Service was held for
An Unknown soldier of the Lancashire Fusiliers
An Unknown soldier of the New Zealand Infantry
An Unknown soldier of an Unknown Regiment
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) Cemetery was chosen because it is the resting place of both New Zealand Infantry and Lancashire Fusiliers soldiers.
Three sets of remains were discovered near Zonnebeke in December 2012 and accompanying military insignia indicated the casualties were WW1 soldiers of The Lancashire Fusiliers and NZ Infantry; no identifying insignia accompanied the third soldier. Despite extensive research, the Ministry of Defence’s Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre (JCCC) was unable to identify the casualties.
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.
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.
Standard bearers of British, Belgian and French veterans and remembrance associations, official representatives of Britain as well as military were present to pay their respect.