NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Full military burial in France for World War One Aberdeen sailor

Relatives at grave Image copyright Crown Copyright
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An Aberdeen sailor killed during World War One has received a full military burial service in France after his remains were identified more than 100 years after his death.

Able Seaman James Robertson was 27 when he died in April 1917 during the capture of Gavrelle.

The human remains, and uniform shoulder titles, were found in 2016.

The MoD's Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre had two possible candidates, before DNA confirmation.

Relatives said it was "sad and poignant" and they would not have missed the ceremony.

Image copyright Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Image caption A Royal Naval Division shoulder title was found

Mr Robertson had joined the Royal Naval Division (RND) at the beginning of the war.

The RND was created after a surplus of Naval volunteers came forward after war was declared.

A shortfall in infantry divisions in the Army led to the formation of the RND to supplement land forces.

Image copyright Crown Copyright

Mr Robertson served with the Hood Battalion, fighting in Gallipoli and Northern France.

In January 1917, he joined the Anson Battalion and it was during "fierce fighting" in the village of Gavrelle that he died on 28 April 1917.

'Wonderful day'

His nephew, Frank Treasurer, 81, attended the service at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Orchard Dump Cemetery in France on Wednesday morning.

Image copyright Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Image caption Able Seaman James Robertson died while serving with the Anson Battalion

He later told BBC Scotland: "I sent a DNA sample and it came back positive. He was indeed my uncle.

"It's very sad, very poignant, but delightful to know he's buried with full honours.

"We have had a wonderful day here and I am delighted we managed to come across. I would not have missed this for the world actually."

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