Wales

'Unknown soldier' WW1 grave dedicated to Cpl Robert Davies

Soldiers at graveside of Cpl Robert Owen Davies (inset) Image copyright Crown Copyright | Pete Thomas
Image caption Royal Welsh Fusiliers at the graveside of Cpl Robert Owen Davies (inset) during a rededication service

The final resting place of a World War One soldier who died on the Western Front in 1916 has been identified.

Cpl Robert Owen Davies, from Llandrillo, Denbighshire, was 27 when he was killed in a battle at Delville Wood on the Somme.

His remains lay undiscovered until 1935 before being interred into a grave for an "unknown soldier" at a war cemetery.

Evidence gathered by researchers showed it was the Royal Welsh Fusilier so his grave has since been rededicated.

Soldiers from 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh attended a graveside service organised by the MOD's Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre (JCCC) to honour Cpl Davies's memory.

Its researchers are continuing to identify remains using documentary evidence such as regimental war diaries.

Cpl Davies's great niece Jean Wearing said: "I am deeply grateful to JCCC for finding my great uncle and giving him this honour.

"I have been researching the family history for many years and to find him has given me peace."

Researchers from the JCCC were able to deduce that it was Cpl Davies whose body was discovered at Delville Wood by a process of elimination.

They found that four other corporals from his regiment had died with no known graves but they had been based in another area at the time.

Cpl Davies died when the 10th Battalion The Royal Welsh Fusiliers encountered rifle and machine gun fire during fighting at "Devil's wood", part of the Battle of the Somme, in the early hours of 20 July 1916.

Rosie Barron, from the JCCC said: "It is vital that the memories of such men are kept alive."

Cpl Davies's grave is at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's London Cemetery and Extension at Somme.

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