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Colonel Howard Wilkinson, Military Attache, British Embassy Paris, puts a French flag on the grave of Second Lieutnant Osmund Bartle Wordsworth during a Rededication Service, in the cemetery of Ecoust-Saint-Mein, northern France, Tuesday, June. 21, 2022. Wordsworth was killed in action at the Battle of Arras on April 2, 1917.

Colonel Howard Wilkinson, Military Attache, British Embassy Paris, puts a French flag on the grave of Second Lieutnant Osmund Bartle Wordsworth during a Rededication Service, in the cemetery of Ecoust-Saint-Mein, northern France, Tuesday, June. 21, 2022. Wordsworth was killed in action at the Battle of Arras on April 2, 1917. (Michel Spingler/AP)

ECOUST-SAINT-MEIN, France — 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.

Colonel Howard Wilkinson, Military Attache, British Embassy Paris, gives a French flag to relatives during a Rededication Service for Second Lieutnant Osmund Bartle Wordsworth, in the cemetery of Ecoust-Saint-Mein, northern France, Tuesday, June. 21, 2022. Wordsworth was killed in action at the Battle of Arras on April 2, 1917. Second Lieutnant Jack Rice, 2nd Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment stands at right.

Colonel Howard Wilkinson, Military Attache, British Embassy Paris, gives a French flag to relatives during a Rededication Service for Second Lieutnant Osmund Bartle Wordsworth, in the cemetery of Ecoust-Saint-Mein, northern France, Tuesday, June. 21, 2022. Wordsworth was killed in action at the Battle of Arras on April 2, 1917. Second Lieutnant Jack Rice, 2nd Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment stands at right. (Michel Spingler/AP)

Captain Thomas Westlake, 5th Battalion The Rifles stands during the Rededication Service for Second Lieutnant Osmund Bartle Wordsworth, in the cemetery of Ecoust-Saint-Mein, northern France, Tuesday, June. 21, 2022.

Captain Thomas Westlake, 5th Battalion The Rifles stands during the Rededication Service for Second Lieutnant Osmund Bartle Wordsworth, in the cemetery of Ecoust-Saint-Mein, northern France, Tuesday, June. 21, 2022. (Michel Spingler/AP)

A new headstone for Wordsworth, who was killed in action in the Battle of Arras on April 2, 1917, was mounted at his gravesite at a cemetery in Ecoust-Saint-Mein in northern France. 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.


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