MOD War Detectives (the Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre Commemorations team); our future services, current appeals and past cases

Find out about future services and what current appeals are ongoing.

Our future services, current appeals and past cases

Military funeral service in progress with three coffins on the ground surrounded by military personnel in full uniform.

Funeral Service, Crown Copyright, all rights reserved

Attend a full military honours funeral or rededication service

22 June 2022

10.30am at Cojeul British Cemetery, France. A Rededication Service for Serjeant Arthur Morton of 9th battalion, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. Killed in action 9 April 1917.

2.30pm at Ovillers Military Cemetery, France. A Rededication Service for Second Lieutenant Ernest Cole of 8th and 1st battalions, Northamptonshire Regiment. Killed in action 27 September 1916.

23 June 2022

10.30am at Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery, France. A Rededication Service for Serjeant Ernest Harris of 10th battalion, Essex Regiment. Killed in action on 18 August 1918.

29 June 2022

9.30am at Larch Wood (Railway Crossing) cemetery, Belgium. A Rededication Service for Second Lieutenant Henry George Pike, Royal Air Force. Killed in action on 30 August 1918.

11.15am at Duhallow ADS cemetery, Belgium. A Rededication Service for Second Lieutenants Alan Thompson Watt Boswell and Robert Percy Gundill, Royal Air Force. Killed in action 2 October 1918.

30 June 2022

11am at New Irish Farm cemetery, Ypres. A joint Burial Service with the Canadian Army for;

Pte John Lambert of the Newfoundland Regiment

Two unknown British soldiers of unknown regiments

An unknown soldier of the Royal Fusiliers

An unknown soldier of the Royal Enniskilling Fusiliers

An unknown soldier of the Hampshire Regiment

An unknown German soldier

Please note that space at New Irish Farm cemetery is very limited and the nearby road will be closed between 9.30 am and 12.30 pm. As a result we would ask members of the general public who wish to attend to arrive no later than 10.30 am. Please allow plenty of time as there is no parking at or near the cemetery.

Can you help us find the family of casualties from the Great War?

Over the last couple of years, the remains of three Scottish soldiers have been discovered in France. All were recovered with artefacts that give us a good idea of who they were. We’re now looking for their families so that we can confirm their identities by DNA comparison. If you can help us with the whereabouts of any surviving family, we’d be delighted to hear from you. Please contact us via

Pte David Gemmell; 1st Battalion, Black Watch; killed in action 25 January 1915

David Gemmell was born in 1869 in Dundee to David Gemmell (1824 to 1904) and Mary Cable (1824 to 1902). He was the youngest of eight children; his siblings were:

  • Helen (born 1849)
  • Eliza, Jean and Jane (all listed as born in 1861)
  • Jessie (1866 to 1948)
  • Joan/Johanna (born 1855)
  • Georgina (born 1864)

The 1891 Census shows him aged 22 and living with his parents at Hilltown in Dundee. By the time of the next Census in 1901 he was a plumber and lodged in a house in Stobcross Street, Glasgow.

Three of David’s sisters married:

  • Jessie, married George Williamson and they had three sons, George (1896 to 1952), James (1899 to 1971) and Edwin (1903 to 1976)
  • Joan/Johanna married Jesse Carr in 1875 in Dundee
  • Eliza married Andrew Petrie Thomson

Pte George Brown; 1st Battalion, Black Watch; killed in action 25 January 1915

George Brown was born in 1879 in Beath, Fife, Scotland to Archibald Brown and Elizabeth (known as Eliza or Lizzie) Drybur. He was one of nine children and his siblings were:

  • Mary (born 1870)
  • Eliza (born 1872)
  • Christina (born 1874)
  • Isabella (born 1876)
  • Catherine (born 1881)
  • Thomas (born 1884)
  • Janet (born 1886)
  • Archie (born 1889)

The War Detectives believe only George himself seems to have married. His wife was Elizabeth Scott and they had one daughter, Mary, who was born in 1910.

Pte John Wilson; 6th Battalion, Black Watch; killed in action 30 July 1916

Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) records do not give an age, date of birth or next of kin for Pte Wilson and there are no service records available at the National Archives. Documentation held by other sources contains no more information aside from telling the War Detectives that Pte Wilson was born in Gowanhill, Lanarkshire.

Initial research into his family states that he was one of three children born to William and Grizel Hope Wilson (nee Brown). He had two sisters:

  • Helen Hutchison Wilson (commonly known as Helen Brown). She was born in Hutchesontown, Lanarkshire in 1891 and is believed to have married George Stewart in Dennistoun in 1921. She died in 1968.
  • Little is known of his other sister, Janet Wilson, other than that she was born in about 1890 in Govan.

Our Past Cases

Details of some of the MOD War Detectives’ past cases can be found below:

Related information

Published 26 September 2019
Last updated 2221 June 2022 + show all updates
  1. Details of two services removed from "forthcoming" and transferred to "past cases" with associated link.

  2. Details of forthcoming services changed to past cases with links to news reports.

  3. Additional information on the service to be held at New Irish Farm cemetery on 30 June 2022.

  4. Details of rededication service moved from "forthcoming events" to "past cases".

  5. Addition of 3 more Forthcoming Services.

  6. Details of 2 rededication services have been moved from "future" to "past" events.

  7. Details of two rededication services moved from "forthcoming" to "past" services.

  8. Details of another 5 rededication services added.

  9. A "Forthcoming Service" has now become a "Past Service". Updated accordingly.

  10. Details of a "Forthcoming Service" now changed to "Past Case".

  11. Details of recent ceremony removed from "Forthcoming Services". Link added to details of news release.

  12. Details of "Forthcoming Services" for May 2022 published.

  13. Details of ceremonies that have now taken place have been removed from "Forthcoming Ceremonies" and moved to "Past Cases".

  14. Details of services that have now taken place have been removed.

  15. Details of "Forthcoming Services" now changed to "Our Past Cases".

  16. Details of 3 x April 2022 rededication services

  17. Details of 4 additional rededication services in Belgium on 22 March 2022.

  18. Adding details of an additional 5 rededication services

  19. Addition of forthcoming events

  20. Update to appeals section

  21. New appeal for WW1 casualty's family launched.

  22. Details of today's service removed and link to news release about it added.

  23. Additional information on forthcoming service.

  24. Details of completed services now deleted from Forthcoming Services section. Links to recent service reports added.

  25. Details of additional military funeral November 2021.

  26. Details of 3 more commemorative funerals published. Link inserted to "previous cases" to news item about Royal Flying Corps casualty.

  27. Removed details of ceremonial services that have now taken place.

  28. Change to COVID restrictions in France.

  29. Details of additional service uploaded.

  30. Statement regarding ceremonial burials - Autumn 2021

  31. Family appeal deleted as appeal has been successful.

  32. New appeal for family added and previous one deleted.

  33. Inserting corrected email address;

  34. Added an appeal for family under the 'current appeals' heading.

  35. Notification of cancellation of the rest of 2020 burial and rededication ceremonies.

  36. Notification of further cancellations

  37. Deleting details of services that have had to be posponed.

  38. Changing calendar of events

  39. Details of additional ceremonies added

  40. Change to dates of when services may resume.

  41. Cancellation of all scheduled services due to COVID-19

  42. Changes to details of appeals and services.

  43. We have added details of additional services and appeals

  44. To add details of future services

  45. Deleted details of services that have now taken place,

  46. First published.