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Yarmouth soldier to have heroes burial

PUBLISHED: 08:22 10 May 2009 | UPDATED: 13:52 03 July 2010

A Great Yarmouth soldier is among hundreds of first world war soldiers poised at last to receive heroes burials after work started this week to recover their bodies from a mass grave.

A Great Yarmouth soldier is among hundreds of first world war soldiers poised at last to receive heroes burials after work started this week to recover their bodies from a mass grave.

Decscendants of George Frank Lupson, 23, of Church Plain, killed in the 1916 Battle of Fromelles in northern France and buried in a series of pits more than 90 years ago are being urged to come forward so that full identification could take place.

He is among six soldiers from Norfolk.

Details from the official records are scant but show that George was a Private in the Gloucestershire Regiment 2nd/6th battalion and the son of George and Alice Lupson.

Experts hope to recover bodies of up 400 British and Australian soldiers from the former battlefields - the biggest non-genocide mass grave in existence.

The notorious battle took place on July 19, 1916 and was set up as a tactic to divert German troops from the Somme.

But, badly planned, it resulted in heavy losses for the allies who gained nothing from it.

Australian forces suffered 5,533 casualties during the 24-hour battle- the country's heaviest military casualty rate ever recorded - while Britain recorded 1,547 soldiers killed, wounded or missing.

Now the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) has released the names of 400 men they believe to be in the mass grave.

They include soldiers from Norwich, Yarmouth, Lowestoft, Ditchingham, near Bungay, Beccles, Pentney, near Swaffham and Tatterford, near Fakenham.

Two of the young soldiers lived five doors from each other in Lowestoft and another two lived in the same row of cottages in nearby Oulton Broad. The youngest of the 12 was 19 and the oldest 30.

Also listed are the names of the men's parents, who would have received the dreaded telegram to tell them their sons had been slain. A request from German, British and Australian troops for a temporary truce so that their comrades could be taken from the battlefield was refused by those higher up the chain of command and the bodies had to be rushed from the site by the enemy in railway trucks and laid in a series of pits where they remained.


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