Two Unknown Australian Soldiers Laid To Rest In Belgium
Two unknown Australian soldiers and an unknown British solider have finally been laid to rest in Belgium, just days before the Armistice Centenary.
Australian and British troops attended a funeral for the three soldiers at Tyne Cot Cemetery on Tuesday afternoon.
The soldiers were buried just 300 metres from where they were killed while fighting alongside each other on the Western Front during World War One.
In a ceremony attended by about 200 people, their coffins were carried under the Menin Gate near the battlefield as Going Home was played on the bagpipes.
"When we were carrying the coffin I had a definite chill down my back," Corporal Sebastian Beurich, a pall-bearer in the service, told 10 News First.
"Thinking about the people that we were carrying and the sacrifice that they’d made so that we can have the lifestyle that we do.”
Despite extensive forensic analysis the remains have not been identified since they were uncovered two years ago during construction works.
But two of the bodies had unmistakable Australian Defence Force rising sun badges with them, a Defence spokesperson told AAP, while the third man belonged to the Lancashire Fusiliers.
"Well it all became very real once you actually see a coffin and you put some dirt in the grave it makes you think, who were these young men,” Veterans’ Affairs Minister Darren Chester said.
The mission to try to identify the remains of countless unknown soldiers continues 100 years after the Great War's end, with scientists using DNA samples to try to match them with living descendants.
The three soldiers were given full military honours at the service and now join the almost 12,000 fellow fallen soldiers buried there.
Tyne Cot Cemetery is the world's largest Commonwealth war cemetery and is the final resting place of more than 1,300 Australian soldiers -- 791 of whom remain unidentified.
On Sunday, thousands will attend a special Remembrance Day Serivce at the Villers-Brentonnuex Memorial in the North of France, as services in remembrance of the fallen 100 years after World War One's end, continue.