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 Post subject: WWI Diggers' remains identified
PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 12:49 pm 

Joined: Sat Jan 14, 2006 4:13 pm
Posts: 1672
Location: South Australia
WWI Diggers' remains identified
Wednesday - 5 September 2007 - Australian

ALMOST 90 years to the day after they were killed on the battlefield, the remains of two World War I Diggers have been positively identified.

Sergeant George Calder of Gladstone, Victoria, and Private John Hunter of Nanango, Queensland, died on September 26, 1917, in the Battle of Polygon Wood, near Zonnebeke, Belgium.

The men's bodies were uncovered along with three other bodies, also of Australians, in August last year during gasworks excavations. Yesterday, relatives of the two were advised that DNA tests had returned a positive match. Private Hunter's niece and Sergeant Calder's great niece supplied DNA samples. Items found with the men suggested they were Australian. A list of seven possible names was drawn up and relatives of three were invited to provide DNA.

The men's remains will be reinterred at Buttes Military Cemetery in Zonnebeke on October 4, the 90th anniversary of one of the engagements in the Battle of Passhchendale. The army will fly over relatives from the two families to attend the service. Veterans Affairs Minister Bruce Bilson is appealing for relatives of the four remaining soldiers to provide DNA. They are Private JA Gibbens, Sergeant CN McArthur, Private GR Storey and Private W. Williams.

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