Members of the Australian Defence Force participated in a headstone dedication service in France on Wednesday after the remains of a previously unknown soldier were formally identified.
2nd Lieutenant Charles Maxwell Bowden of the 22nd Battalion, Australian Imperial Force, was identified by comparing DNA samples from the skeleton to Aussies alive today who proved to be his relatives.
The headstone dedication ceremony took place at Dive Copse Cemetery, Sailly-le-Sec, in France on 20 September 2017 as part of the 100th Anniversary commemorations of the Battle of Polygon Wood.
The Battle of Polygon Wood was a component of the Third Battle of Ypres, or ‘Passchendaele’, and was the 5th Australian Division’s first major battle in Belgium.
While the battle was considered a success for the AIF, it cost 5770 Australian casualties.
The ADF supported the commemoration by providing a Catafalque Party and wreath and flag orderlies from Australia’s Federation Guard, an Australian Army Chaplain and members of the Army Band.