A British soldier who died on the Western Front during the First World War has been laid to rest 106 years after his death.

Lance Corporal Robert Cook, who died in 1915, has been buried in Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s New Irish Farm Cemetery, in Belgium.

His his identity was confirmed by experts known as 'War Detectives' who used used a DNA sample from the Lance Corporal's nephew to help to identify the fallen soldier.

Lance Corporal Cook was only 38 when he died on 2 May 1915, just two short days after arriving on the front line near Ypres, on the Western Front.

Family members of Lance Corporal Robert Cook paying their respects (


Gareth Fuller/PA Wire)

He was born in Bishop Wilton, situated in the East Riding area of Yorkshire and was one of seven children. He served with 2nd Battalion The Essex Regiment.

His great-nephew and great-niece paid their respects at the poignant service by laying wreaths at his white headstone.

Members of C Essex Company 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, the modern version of the Lance Corporal’s regiment were also in attendance to pay their respects.

Lance Corporal Cook’s coffin was draped in a Union flag and was carried to its final resting place by soldiers who were in full military dress.

As reported by The Telegraph, Reverend Paul Whitehead who was conducting the service said: "Today, we accord Lance Corporal Cook the dignity and respect that he is due.”

A famous line from Laurence Binyon’s poem ‘For The Fallen’ was read aloud towards the end of the service and echoed by military and civilian guests saying: “we will remember them”.

Lance Corporal Robert Cook is laid to rest in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's New Irish Farm Cemetery near Ypres in Belgium (


Gareth Fuller/PA Wire)

Lance Corporal Cook’s nephew, Arthur Cook, reportedly said that he was surprised to have been contacted by a team from the Ministry of Defence requesting a DNA sample.

After the service, Arthur commented: “To think that 105 years further on and they still put this effort into a burial is unbelievable, it's amazing."

Arthur also commended the “forensic” work of the Ministry of Defence team and the Essex Regiment Museum in their dedicated work to identify Lance Corporal Cook.

The team, known as the War Detectives, strive to discover the names that belonged to remains of soldiers.

"We will remember him" (


Gareth Fuller/PA Wire)

A member of the team, Rosie Barron, stated that Lance Corporal Cook was one of 24 soldiers whose remains were uncovered close to the site in 2014 and 2015.

Rosie said: "He was found with a cap badge and shoulder titles of the Essex Regiment, and he also had a medal ribbon bar with three medal ribbons of South Africa medals, so we knew that this soldier had served in the Boer War.

“Based on that, we were able to work out roughly how old he might have been.”

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