Monday, 16 January 2012

Reburial service for an unknown New Zealand soldier

The remains of an unknown soldier from the First World War were discovered during excavations of a building site in July 2011 in Mesen, West Flanders. Based on objects recovered with the remains including, unit insignia of the New Zealand Rifle Brigade as well as the location of the find, the remains were accepted in December 2011 as that of an unidentified New Zealand soldier.
A reburial service will be held on 3 February 2012 at the Messines Ridge British Cemetery in Mesen. The service will commence at approximately 3pm. New Zealand will have a high-level delegation at the reburial. This will be led by Minister of Defence, the Honourable Dr Jonathan Coleman and includes Chief of Defence Force, Lt Gen R. R. (Rhys) Jones; Secretary of Defence, John McKinnon; and New Zealand's Ambassador to the European Union and Belgium, Vangelis Vitalis.
The reburial service is open to members of the public. Individuals wishing to attend are asked to advise the New Zealand Embassy of their intention in order to assist preparations.
When: Friday, 3 February at 3pm
Where: Messines Ridge British Cemetery, Nieuwkerkestraat, 8957 Mesen
RSVPs or queries can be directed to Mr Keawe Woodmore, First Secretary, New Zealand Embassy, Brussels (bruevents@mfat.govt.nz) or by phone on 02 512 1040.