Staff from The Green Howards Museum have been helping the BBC’s Inside Out team try to piece together a case of unknown identity dating from the First World War.
Fresh from a starring role on BBC’s Bargain Hunt (Friday 17 February), the museum will once more make a television appearance, this time at 7.30pm on 27 February.
The tv crew were covering a lengthy Ministry of Defence (MOD) investigation following the discovery of human remains on a former battlefield outside the village of Martinpuich on The Somme. An item discovered with the remains suggested he was a serving soldier, with a local connection. But who is he, and can any of his family be traced, one hundred years after he was listed as killed in action?
“We were first made aware of the discovery of some remains, and their possible link to the regiment in October 2015,” explains The Green Howards Museum’s Director, Lynda Powell. “We were told by the MOD team who deal with this kind of work that it’s incredibly unusual to gain enough information about an individual who has been discovered after this length of time to ever be able to successfully identify them, but every effort is made to do so. If an identity is confirmed, it means the body can be laid to rest under its own headstone in a Commonwealth War Graves cemetery, and their name finally removed from the Thiepval Memorial, which lists some 77,000 soldiers whose bodies were never found.”
It’s an extraordinary story. Find out what happens on Monday 27 February on Inside Out, BBC One at 7.30pm.