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A visitor looks at engraved names of British and Commonwealth soldiers who died in World War One at the Menin Gate Memorial in Ypres, Belgium, on Nov. 8. Photo by Francois Lenoir/Reuters

Unknown British soldier buried before WWI 100th anniversary

YPRES, Belgium — British authorities have given an unknown soldier who died during World War I a full military burial, just days before ceremonies marking the centenary of the end of World War I.

Sunlight filtered through the autumn leaves as the British honor guard carried a lone coffin through the stark white stones of the Buttes New British cemetery in Polygon Wood, just outside of Ypres in Belgium.

Nothing is known about the soldier, who was discovered in a field near the village of Westhoek, near Ypres.

Three other unidentified soldiers — one British and two Australians — were also commemorated this week.

Each year, the remains of some 40 British soldiers killed during World War I are found on Europe’s battlefields. The Ministry of Defense’s Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre tries to identify them and trace survivors.

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