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141 Days: The Battle of the Somme

The Unknown Soldier

In October 2003 the King’s Own Museum was informed of the discovery of a body of a soldier of the 1st Battalion, King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment, who had died on 1st July 1916, found in a field at Serre. The brass ‘King’s Own’ shoulder titles were the only way of identifying the soldier. In April 2004 he was buried with full military honours by soldiers of the King’s Own Royal Border Regiment in the cemetery next to the field in where he had lain for 87 years.

Items recovered from the soldier’s body including the brass shoulder titles, tunic buttons, pocket knife, candles and a leather wallet containing a handful of coins were presented to the museum. They remain a moving reminder of the many soldiers that suffered the same fate.

The discover of the remains, 2003.

The unknown soldier has to be one of the following:

Corporal George Adamson
Private Morris Althansen
Private Wilfred Ashcroft
Private Frank Barker
Private Robert Barlow
Private James Arthur Berry
Private Cyril Blake
Private Richard Blinston
Lance Corporal Thomas Borthwick
Private Patrick Brennen
Private Albert Brown
Private Bryant Summerfield Browning
Private John Bryson
Private Albert Carr
Private Harry Cooper
Private Sidlow Cooper
Private Thomas Cowan
Private William Crowther
Sergeant Frank Curry
Lance Corporal William Davies
Lance Corporal Hubert Dolan
Private William Downs
Private Thomas Drinkall
Private Richard Edge
Private Richard Falcus
Private Orlando Farrington
Acting Corporal Alfred Faulkner
Lance Corporal John Fergus
Private Albert Edwin Forsyth
Sergeant Thomas Foy
Lance Corporal Thomas Frater
Private Christopher Gannon
Private Peter Garnett
Private Joseph Gledhill
Sergeant Alfred Graham
Private Richard Green
Private John Gunshon
Private Thomas Hamer
Private John Hands
Private Charles Haslam
Private Robert Hindle
Lance Corporal William Holland
Lance Corporal Ernest Howarth
Private John Hurst
Private John Kelly
Lance Corporal Joseph Keough
Sergeant Walter Lichfield
Private William Lloyd
Private Edward Lofthouse
Private Fred Longworth
Private George Low
Private Matthew Lowe
Lance Corporal Christopher Maher
Private Samuel Marsh
Private George Mather
Private John McCann
Lance Corporal James McConnell
Private James McCormick
Lance Corporal John O’Brien
Private William Pearson
Lance Corporal Charles Thomas Poole
Lance Corporal Frank Porter
Sergeant George Henry Rastall
Private Frederick Ridgeway
Private James Riley
Private William Riley
Corporal Thomas Robinson
Lance Corporal Robert Rogers
Private Thomas Salmon
Private John Henry Charles Scarlett
Private Robert Smallshaw
Private George Smith
Private John Smith
Private Walter Smith
Private Wilfred Smithies

The items recovered on the body were passed to the museum.

Two pencils.

Front and rear of shoulder title 'King's Own'

Front and rear of shoulder title.

Brass buckle from webbing equipment.


Metal and glass eye pieces from respirator

Metal part from rifle cleaning pull-through

Coins found in leather purse

Remains of leather purse which contained the coins, the impression of some of the coins can still be seen in the leather.

Uniform buttons

Order of service from the burial service.

Next: The Battle of the Somme Film

Supported by the Sir John Fisher Foundation and the Army Museums Ogilby Trust

© Images are copyright, Trustees of the King's Own Royal Regiment Museum.
 You must seek permission prior to publication of any of our images.

Only a proportion of our collections are on display at anyone time.  Certain items are on loan for display in other institutions.  An appointment is required to consult any of our collections which are held in store.

© 2016 Trustees of the King's Own Royal Regiment Museum