LEST WE FORGET: Tom Launchbury holding photo of his uncle from the First World War.
LEST WE FORGET: Tom Launchbury holding photo of his uncle from the First World War. Mike Knott BUN170317PHOTO4

First World War mystery solved

A 100-YEAR-OLD mystery for a Bundaberg family has been solved with the remains of a First World War Digger finally identified.

In 2006, Tom Launchbury's niece Nicole Sauer learnt about her great-great-uncle Lance Corporal James Allan Launchbury through an Anzac school project.

James served in the 25th Company, Australian Machine Gun Corps.

James was 20 when he was killed in the mud of Flanders on October 25, 1917 as his machine gun team manned trenches at Westhoek Ridge.

Nicole's research uncovered the fact that James had no known grave and that he was commemorated at the Menin Gate Memorial in Belgium.

The Menin Gate Memorial bears the names of more than 54,000 officers and men whose graves are unknown.

To this day, each night at 8pm, the traffic is stopped at Menin Gate while members of the local fire brigade sound the Last Post in the roadway under the arches.

Nicole passed on this research to Tom, who began a little digging of his own.

"I think he was born in Miriam Vale and worked as porter at the railway before the war began," he said.

"I didn't realise that he wasn't found."

 

LEST WE FORGET: Tom Launchburys photo of his uncles from the First World War.
LEST WE FORGET: Tom Launchburys photo of his uncles from the First World War. Mike Knott BUN

 

A trip to Canberra's War Memorial led to more information about his uncle but the whereabouts of his remains were unknown.

Until last month.

Tom said the Commonwealth War Graves Commission finally got back to his niece with some wonderful news.

"They found his bones and identified him by DNA," he said.

"It's incredible and to think it's been 100 years."

James Launchbury's epitaph will read: Remembered always by the Launchbury family Bundaberg.


Meghan, Harry ‘struggling to cope’ in LA

Meghan, Harry ‘struggling to cope’ in LA

Dream of a blissful new life has quickly turned into a nightmare

Fresh confusion over virus 'detention'

Fresh confusion over virus 'detention'

Thousands of Melbourne public housing residents have been provided with "detention...

Man in iconic 9/11 photo dies from virus

Man in iconic 9/11 photo dies from virus

This man miraculously survived the 9/11 terror attacks