Worcestershire and Warwickshire soldiers who died in a First World War battle which began 19 days after the opening of the Somme Campaign could have their bodies removed from mass graves and accorded a proper military burial.

The UK’s Veterans Minister, Kevan Jones, and his Australian counterpart, Minister for Defence Science and Personnel, Warren Snowdon, have announced that Oxford Archaeology has been awarded the contract to undertake the archaeological excavation of six mass graves at Pheasant Wood, near Fromelles, France.

The 1916 Battle of Fromelles saw significant losses from both countries.

Excavation work is due to start in May and is expected to take up to six months.

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