6 Nov 2017

Remains of Kanak WWI soldier to be returned to New Caledonia

1:31 pm on 6 November 2017

The remains of a Kanak man who died in 1918 serving in the French army have been exhumed to be returned to New Caledonia.

A ceremony has been held at the military cemetery in France and more will be held in New Caledonia next week when the remains of Kalepo Wabete arrive.

They were being returned to New Caledonia on behest of his extended family.

Kalepo Wabete had left his home island Tiga in 1916 and was killed just days before the end of the First World War.

He will be formally reburied on Tiga on 11 November, which is Armistice Day.

The New Caledonian government said this is to pay homage to New Caledonians who defended the values of the French republic.

France gave citizenship to its colonial subjects in 1953 - a decade after seizing the territory.