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MOD War Detectives – the Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre Commemorations team - our future services, current appeals and past cases

Find out about future services and what current appeals are ongoing.

Our future services, current appeals and past cases

Funeral Service, Crown Copyright, all rights reserved

Funeral Service, Crown Copyright, all rights reserved

Attend A ‘Full Military Honours’ Funeral or Rededication Service

Our services are free to attend and a list of future services can be found here:

2020 Services will commence from March 2020. Details will be announced in the New Year.

Help Identify a Missing Soldier, Sailor or Airman?

The MOD War Detectives need your help to trace the families of British casualties found on historical battlefields. Our current appeals can be found below:

Case details Who we need to trace
During a planned archaeological dig in 2016 on the western side of the village of St Julien, archaeologists discovered several sets of human remains and artefacts. We have drawn up a list of possible casualties and are looking for their families in the hope that they will be willing to provide DNA for comparison Private Fred Gilbert – Royal Fusiliers. Pte Gilbert died on 17 August 1917, aged 26. He was the son of Jane Gilbert (nee Franklin) of Cheshunt, Herts and the late Obed Gilbert. He had 3 brothers (Arthur, Joseph and Charles) and 3 sisters (Alice, Emily and Kate). It seems none of his sisters married or had children, but all his brothers died. Are you related to any of them?
  Private Harry Phelps Allen – Gloucestershire Regiment. Pte Allen died on 19 August 1917, aged 31. He was married to Ada (nee Shaw) and they lived with their son, Alfred Edward Allen, in King’s Norton, Worcestershire. Alfred, who was born in 1914, went on to marry Gertrude May Phillips and they lived in Worcester until his death in 1980. Do you know anybody who might be related to him?
  Private Edward G Hughes – Gloucestershire Regiment. Pte Hughes was killed on 16 August 1917, aged 22. He was the son of Evan Hughes and Elizabeth J Price. The family was from the Newtown/Rhayader area in Wales. He had 2 sisters (neither of whom married or had children) and 5 brothers (Evan, Thomas, William, Jack and Richard). Evan married and had a son, Evan Jnr, who married Eleanor J Williams in 1955. We think they had a son, Edward C Hughes, born in 1960 in Newton. Could you be related to him?
  Private Charles F Tapley – Royal Fusiliers. Pte Tapley was killed in action of 16 August 1917, aged 25. He was the son of Charles and Sarah Tapley (nee Bailey) of Rochester, Kent. He had 3 brothers (Ernest, Arthur and Frank), none of whom married or had children. He also had 4 sisters, Minnie, Lilian, Catherine and Florence. Minnie married George F Dray in 1923 and they had 3 children; George (born 1924), Margaret (born 1928) and Iris (born 1930). Iris went on to marry Alan
  Private Alfred Preston – Royal Fusiliers. Pte Preston died on 16 August 1917, aged 44. He was married to Mary Emma Williamson and together they had 2 children; James, who also died in the Great War and Lexcey. There are no descendants suitable for DNA from Alfred’s children. He did, however, have several siblings; Mary, Samuel, John, Elizabeth, Sarah, William, Joseph, Jabez, James and Annie. We know that at least Samuel married and had children. Could you be one of his descendants?
  Private Samuel Holland – Royal Fusiliers. Pte Holland was killed in action on 16 August 1917. Aside from knowing his service number (G/10053) and that he served with the 2nd battalion of the Royal Fusiliers, we have no further information about him. Do you?
The remains of 2 casualties were recovered in 2014 from a field near the village of Villesr-Guislain, France. Our research leads us to believe that the served with the Middlesex Regiment (Duke of Cambridge’s Own) and that they were killed in action on 29 September 1918. There are only 4 soldiers from that regiment killed on the same day whose whereabouts are unknown. We have found family for 3 of them; can you help us find the fourth? Private Sidney Roberts – Middlesex Regiment. Pte Roberts was the youngest child of William Roberts and Barbara Pugh. He was born in Kilburn, London in 1898 and was killed the day before his twentieth birthday. He had 2 sisters, Edith and Ellen, and a brother Norman. Could you be related to any of this family?

Our Past Cases

Details of some of the MOD War Detectives’ past cases can be found below:

British soldiers killed during WW2 are honoured as they are laid to rest

Services held for 2 Welsh brothers in arms killed during the Great War

Grave of Royal Welsh Fusilier identified a century after his death in the Great War

Family of World War 1 soldiers attend their relatives’ funeral a century after they gave their lives

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Published 26 September 2019
Last updated 3 December 2019 + show all updates
  1. Deleted details of services that have now taken place,
  2. First published.