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The BBC's Colin Blane reports
"It is becoming increasingly rare to identify such remains"
 real 28k

Thursday, 6 January, 2000, 18:05 GMT
Hunt for WWI soldier's family

The soldier died on the battlefield more than 80 years ago


A search has been launched for the relatives of a British soldier killed in World War One after his remains were discovered in Belgium.

An army museum has identified the remains of Private Harry Wilkinson, from Bury in Lancashire, more than 80 years after he was killed on a Flanders battlefield.

The remains of Private Wilkinson were found earlier this week by a Belgian historian searching a section of the battlefield near Warneton, close to the French border.

Such discoveries are still being made on First World War battlefields, but it is becoming increasingly rare to be able to identify the remains.

Along with some pieces of uniform, a bottle, some coins and a pipe were found with the body, just below the surface of the soil.

In this case Private Wilkinson's metal tag had also survived, showing his second name and initial H.

Captain John O'Grady, of the Lancashire Fusiliers Museum, confirmed his full name was Harry Wilkinson and he came from Hollins in Bury.

He would have been 29 when he died on 10 November 1914. He left a wife and one son and worked at J K Schofield and Company in Bury.

He is currently commemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial in Belgium, which lists soldiers whose bodies were not found.

It is hoped his relatives can be traced to attend his military funeral.

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11 Nov 99 |  UK
War dead remembered
11 Nov 99 |  UK
Picture gallery: We will remember them

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