WWI gravestone has a name

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Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

Colonel Howard Wilkinson, Military Attaché, British Embassy Paris, places a French flag at the grave of Second Lieutenant Osmund Bartle Wordsworth during a rededication service, at Ecoust-Saint-Mein Cemetery in northern France, Tuesday June. April 21, 2022. Wordsworth was killed in action at the Battle of Arras on April 2, 1917. (AP Photo/Michel Spingler)

ECOUST-SAINT-MEIN – For more than a century, the British soldier lay in an unmarked grave, one of many unidentified victims buried beneath the killing fields of the First World War.

But now his headstone finally has a name: 2nd Lt. Osmund Bartle Wordsworth – a great-grandnephew of English poet William Wordsworth – who was recently identified through DNA research and received a funeral ceremony on Tuesday, 105 years later his death.

A new headstone for Wordsworth, who was killed in action in the Battle of Arras on April 2, 1917, has been mounted on his grave in a cemetery in Ecoust-Saint-Mein in northern France. A cleric led the ceremony and a British military attache presented Wordsworth’s relatives with a neatly folded French flag to place at the grave.

The evolution of DNA technology has allowed the identification of more and more unknown soldiers from the First World War. A service will be held for others in Ypres, Belgium next week.

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