Graves of 3 soldiers killed during Great War rededicated

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The services were attended by serving soldiers of the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment 35 Engineer Regiment, Royal Engineers, and veterans from the Hampshire Regiment Association…reports Asian Lite News

The graves of Sapper (Spr) Stanley Evelyn Barnden of 17th Field Company Royal Engineers, Lance Corporal (LCpl) Owen James Munday and Private (Pte) Leonard George Holiday, both of 15th (Hampshire Yeomanry) Battalion The Hampshire Regiment, were rededicated more than a hundred years after they died.

The services, which were organised by the MOD’s Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre (JCCC), also known as the ‘MOD War Detectives’, were held at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s (CWGC) Kandahar Farm Cemetery, Heestert Military Cemetery and Vichte Military Cemetery respectively, all in Belgium. 

The services were attended by serving soldiers of the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment 35 Engineer Regiment, Royal Engineers, and veterans from the Hampshire Regiment Association. 

Rosie Barron, JCCC said: “It has been an honour to organise these rededication services alongside The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment and 35 Engineer Regiment, and to have played a part in the identification of the graves of these missing soldiers.

“Although the families of Spr Barnden, LCpl Munday and Pte Holiday were not able to attend these services today, their sacrifice has been remembered in the presence of their regimental families.”

The graves of all three men were identified after researchers submitted evidence suggesting that their graves had been located. After further research by CWGC, the National Army Museum and MOD JCCC, it was confirmed as part of MOD JCCC’s adjudication process that these men had in fact been found.

The initial evidence concerning the graves of LCpl Munday and Pte Holiday was submitted by Michiel Vanmarcke, a local Belgian student with a passion for First World War history. Michiel attended the services along with members of his family.

Michiel Vanmarcke said, “I am deeply honoured to have contributed to the identifications of L/Cpl Munday and Private Holiday. As a 21-year-old Belgian who grew up in the area where both these men were killed, I feel some sort of connection with them. Seeing Munday and Holiday honoured today, a few years after handing over my initial report, really is the cherry on the cake.”

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