Burial services at Albert Communal Cemetery Extension
Over 100 years after they had been killed on the Somme, on Wednesday 19th October two young men of the 10th Battalion Essex Regiment were finally laid to rest.
When war broke out, Private William James Marmon and Private Harry Carter both joined the newly created 10th Essex Battalion. The battalion was sent to France in July 1915 as part of the 18th (Eastern) Division and was soon sent to the front line to take over formerly French-held positions on the Somme. The battalion had its first experience of the trenches and mine warfare at Maricourt before being redeployed to Albert and La Boisselle, where the unit remained over winter.
La Boisselle and the Ilot were positions that had been heavily mined by both the French and the Germans prior to the arrival of the British. When the British did take over the line, mining continued but at even greater depths.
In the early hours of 22nd November 1915, the Germans detonated a huge mine, which "filled dugouts for about 50 yards and completely obliterated the front face of the Ilot".
Both Harry and William were killed during this explosion along with six other comrades. Harry was 20 years old; William was 21. It was thought that these men had been given an identified burial in this very cemetery, but when their remains were found during excavations at the Ilot by a group of French and British archaeologists led by Peter Barton, this was seen to have been in error.
On the 19th October 2016, over 100 hundred years after their deaths, they were given a fitting burial with full military honours in the presence of family members.
More information can be found on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website