Unknown Soldier Is Unknown No More

British soldier who died in WWI is identified via DNA as 2nd Lt. Osmund Bartle Wordsworth
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 22, 2022 1:01 PM CDT
Unknown Soldier No More: WWI Gravestone Gets a Name
The grave of 2nd Lt. Osmund Bartle Wordsworth is pictured during a rededication service in the cemetery of Ecoust-St.-Mein, France, on Tuesday.   (AP Photo/Michel Spingler)

(Newser) – For more than a century, the British soldier lay in an anonymous grave, one of so many unidentified victims buried beneath the killing fields of World War I. But now, his headstone finally bears a name: 2nd Lt. Osmund Bartle Wordsworth—a great-great-nephew of English poet William Wordsworth—who was recently identified by DNA research and given a funeral ceremony Tuesday, 105 years after he died.

A new headstone for Wordsworth, who was killed in action in the Battle of Arras in April 1917, was mounted at his gravesite at a cemetery in Ecoust-St.-Mein in northern France, reports the AP. A cleric led the ceremony, and a British military attache handed Wordsworth's relatives a carefully folded French flag to place on the grave. The evolution of DNA technology has allowed for the identification of more and more unknown soldiers from World War I. A service will be held for others in Ypres, Belgium, next week.

(Read more Tomb of the Unknown Soldier stories.)

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