Funeral of Appolinaire Ruelland, 118th Infantry Regiment

The new plaque on the grave of brothers, Appolinaire and Francois Ruelland

The new plaque on the grave of brothers, Appolinaire and Francois Ruelland

The funeral of Appolinaire Joachim Marie Ruelland, the second of the two French soldiers discovered during last November’s excavations at the Glory Hole, took place on Thursday 9th October in the French necropole at Tracy-le-Mont some 90 kilometres south of La Boisselle. The reason this location was chosen by the family is because it is the resting place of Appolinaire’s brother Francois who was killed in action nearby on 7th June 1916. Appolinaire and Francois are now reunited.

On a beautiful autumn day the LBSG was represented by Peter Barton, Anna Gow, Brian Powell and Cameron Ross. Seven members of the Ruelland family had made the journey from Brittany. They were presented with a dossier containing documents, plans and photographs outlining the events of 8 January 1915 that led to the deaths of Appolinaire Ruelland and Louis Le Heurt.

There were present many members of the Ancien Combattants, French military personnel, officials from ONAC, Prefets and Mayors. The event was colourful and celebratory, the speeches of several officials being especially complimentary about the quality of the LBSG’s work in the recovery of the remains of several French soldiers at La Boisselle. Peter Barton laid a floral tribute and planted a Breton flag.

Ancien Combattants provided the Guard of Honour

Ancien Combattants provided the Guard of Honour, Nécropole Nationale Tracy-le-Mont

Peter Barton laying the LBSG wreath

Peter Barton laying the LBSG wreath

Wreaths at the cemetery's memorial

Wreaths at the cemetery’s memorial

Peter Barton speaking with the great niece and great nephew of Appolinaire Ruelland

Peter Barton speaking with the great niece and great nephew of Appolinaire Ruelland

The new plaque on the grave showing Appolinaire and Francois are now buried together

The new plaque on the grave showing Appolinaire and Francois are now buried together

Archaeologist Cameron Ross at the graveside

Archaeologist Cameron Ross at the graveside

3 Responses to Funeral of Appolinaire Ruelland, 118th Infantry Regiment

  1. Thank you very much for your swift answer.
    Also for asking the ONAC about the remains. I am waiting for your information which you hopefully will get from ONAC in due time.

  2. Thank you very much for informing us of the re-interment of the 2 French soldiers.
    As I am very much interested in the German side as well, I would like to ask you for information about the re-interment of the German soldier discovered by the LBSG during excavation works. I assume he is still not reburied? Or was there no interest in reporting and attending the German soldier’s reburial on this website here?
    I am sure you can enlighten me on the burial status of the found German soldier and if happened already will post pictures of the VdK (German) burial ceremony as well?

    • Thank you for your query. As was made clear to you in our email dated 11/04/14 in this particular case we found partial remains associated with what appeared to be a German boot. These remains along with the other fragmented remains were handed to the ONAC. We have asked the ONAC for an update on them and await a reply. When we have this we will add it to this comment thread and email you to let you know.

      It is important to consider the two French soldiers and their recent military funerals that your comment refers to (Privates Louis Joseph Heurt and Appolinaire Joachim Marie Ruelland) are very different cases to the fragmented remains found. These two men were killed together on 8 January 1915 and their fully articulated remains were discovered buried in the wall of a trench. They were identified from their identity discs. Such was the severity of the fighting at the Glory Hole there are small bone fragments everywhere. It will be impossible to determine whether these are German, French or British.

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