Western Front unknown soldiers identified

The remains of 7 more unknown soldiers who died on the Western Front in WWI have been identified.
The remains of 7 more unknown soldiers who died on the Western Front in WWI have been identified.

Seven more families will be able to honour their ancestors after the remains of unknown Australian diggers were identified in Fromelles.

The graves of the seven soldiers who died in France in the First World War will be marked with new headstones after they were formally identified by the Fromelles Identification Board.

They were among 250 Australians buried as unknown soldiers in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Cemetery.

"This outcome represents the culmination of a powerful collaboration between Defence, other agencies, contracted specialists, volunteer researchers and, most importantly, families of the missing who have recently supplied DNA for comparison to the soldiers," Defence Personnel Minister Darren Chester said on Tuesday.

"I'm proud of the efforts of the Australian Army and all those involved in researching, finding and identifying these Australians. I hope that the remaining 84 soldiers can also be identified in the near future."

People with relatives who fought at Fromelles and died between July 19 and 21, 1916 but have no known grave can register with the army's unrecovered war casualties team.

NEWLY IDENTIFIED WWI SOLDIERS

* Private Arthur George Batt, 32nd Battalion AIF. Age 32 of Hilton, South Australia.

* Private Edward James Hope, 54th Battalion AIF. Age 28 of Penrith, New South Wales.

* Private Leslie Clark Dunn, 31st Battalion AIF. Age 28 of West Melbourne, Victoria.

* Private George Honey, 32nd Battalion AIF. Age 31 of West Guilford, Western Australia.

* Lance Corporal Ralph Johnson, 32nd Battalion AIF. Age 19 of Middle Brighton, Victoria.

* Lance Corporal John Alexander Crawford, 32nd Battalion AIF. Age 30 of Hindmarsh, South Australia.

* Private Peter Paul Shannon, 53rd Battalion AIF. Age 35 of Merriwa, New South Wales.

Australian Associated Press