WW1 soldier found

Student discovers soldier skeleton

An archaeology student has uncovered the body of an Australian soldier 90 years after he died in battle during the First World War.
Graham Arkley, 21, a student at Bradford University, discovered the skeleton, dressed in full kit, while excavating the German trenches near St Yves, in Wallonia, Belgium, on August 6.
The area was attacked by the Australian 3rd Division on the morning of June 7 1917, as part of the Battle of Messines.
Mr Arkley, who is part-way through his BSc archaeology degree, made the initial find of the body while working with a project set up to examine the effectiveness of the training of the Australian 3rd Division during the First World War.
It is the first time significant human remains have been found during the four-year scheme.
Mr Arkley said: “I’m very proud to have recovered a previously missing soldier and who could be of a similar age to me.
“He endured unimaginable hardship and met a violent end.”
Items found with the unidentified soldier’s body included a German pickelhaube – a spiked helmet worn by German soldiers.
The soldier’s remains and all of the artefacts have been taken by the Belgian Army to be given to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, where attempts will be made to identify him.
Rob Janaway, a lecturer in archaeological sciences at the University of Bradford who led the team in Belgium, said: “This is an unusual discovery as he was a battlefield casualty in full kit buried where he fell rather than a burial in a grave behind the lines.”


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