Page last updated at 16:30 GMT, Friday, 17 December 2010
Shropshire-born World War I soldier is laid to rest
Samuel Farlow (right)
Sam Farlow's family believe he is the man standing on the right

Samuel Farlow was 41 when he went "over the top" at the battle of Fromelles in France in World War I.

He died of his wounds and his body was buried by German soldiers in a mass grave near Pheasant Wood.

For 94 years he and his fellow Australian and British soldiers lay unidentified until earlier this year when the bodies were found and exhumed.

Samuel, who came from Ellesmere, was identified and has now been reburied in a marked grave in a French cemetery.

His great, great niece, Kim Bailey from Wolverhampton visited her long lost relative's grave at a special cemetery on the site of the pits at Pheasant Wood.

Fromelles cemetery
A special cemetery has been created at Fromelles

Samuel was identified after an Australian researcher asked for DNA, which was provided by Ms Bailey's cousin four times removed, Colin Farlow from Exeter.

Ms Bailey has been researching the family history and discovered that Samuel had gone to Australia in 1913 to join his elder sister. He was recruited into the Australian Imperial Force in 1915, and less than a year later he was killed in battle.

Ms Bailey said it was a tragedy: "It was very, very badly planned. The logistics were terrible. It was the worst day in Australian military history in terms of bloodshed."

She discovered from a book written by Paul Cobb that Samuel had been badly wounded and a Private Donovan had tried to shield him with sandbags, but he died from his injuries.

HRH Prince Charles, Colin Farlow and Kim Bailey
Kim Bailey and relative, Colin Farlow meet HRH Prince Charles

She said he had been reported missing and his niece Clara Maloney wrote to the Red Cross appealing for news of his fate and enclosing a letter for her uncle. It was returned to her.

Ms Bailey and her cousin Colin Farlow attended a special ceremony at the cemetery in Fromelles to pay their respects to Samuel Farlow.

She said Samuel's last resting place was beautiful and poignant: "What they've actually done is buried them in the cemetery exactly where they found them in the pits, so you may have one known soldier next to two unknown soldiers."

The unknown soldier arrives at Fromelles
The body of the unknown soldier arrives at the Fromelles cemetery

She chose a passage from Shropshire war poet Wilfred Owen's poem Send Off for Samuel's gravestone: "Red lips are not so red as stained stones kissed by the English dead."

It was, she said, a fitting tribute: "Although Sam was an Australian, he was quintessentially an Englishman."

Ms Bailey said her farewells on behalf of all of Samuel's family: "I have come to know you through your army records and I am so sad you lost your life.

"I'm so glad that you've been found and you have a final resting place and that I came to say goodbye and represent the whole family with that goodbye. God Bless Sam."

She said there were still many unidentified British soldiers and urged anyone with a missing relative to contact the Commonwealth War Graves Commission to register for DNA testing.

"It would be nice to see some Brits identified and get a proper burial," she said.




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