4 Feb 2012

Unknown NZ soldier's remains laid to rest in Belgium

1:39 pm on 4 February 2012

The remains of an unknown New Zealand soldier killed in the World War I have been buried in a special ceremony in Belgium.

The man's remains, along with a New Zealand Rifle Brigade hat, badge and pieces of a uniform, were found near the town of Messines in July last year - an area in which hundreds of New Zealand soldiers were killed during battle.

He was officially identified as a New Zealander, but who he was could not be determined.

The ceremony on Friday was attended by several dignitaries from Belgium and New Zealand, including Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman.

Dr Coleman says after lying in a field for 95 years, the man is now buried alongside fellow soldiers at the Messines Ridge New Zealand Memorial which commemorates more than 800 soldiers who were killed and have no known grave.