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Scottish WWI sailor laid to rest 101 years after death

Able seaman James Robertson was killed in the Battle of Gavrelle on April 28, 1917.

A Scottish sailor whose body was found 100 years after he lost his life fighting in the First World War has been buried with full military honours.

Able seaman James Robertson was killed in the Battle of Gavrelle on April 28, 1917.

His body was never recovered and he was commemorated on the Arras memorial along with 35,000 others with no grave.

However, human remains discovered near Gavrelle earlier this year were finally identified as the 26-year-old in April.

He was buried alongside his fallen comrades in Arleux-en-Gohelle, France, on Wednesday.

Mr Robertson's nephew Frank Treasurer, who helped identify his body by DNA testing, said: "Today was a sad and poignant day, however it was also a celebration of James and his comrades' courage and bravery.

"We were very glad to be here today to witness him finally being laid to rest."

Brothers: Members of James Robertson's battalion.
Brothers: Members of James Robertson's battalion. MoD

Mr Robertson was born in Aberdeen in 1891 to John Mckay Robertson and Helen Cameron and joined the Royal Naval Division (RND), which was created by Winston Churchill at the outset of the First World War.

It was made up of Royal Naval reservists who fought in the trenches alongside the army. They participated in almost all of the major battles of WWI.

After joining the RND Mr Robertson served with the Hood Batallion and fought in Gallipoli and France, where he was wounded.

After recovering he was drafted into the Anson Battalion in January 1917.

Steve Arnold, from the Ministry of Defence's Joint Casuality and Compassionate Centre, added: "I was honoured to be able to recover able seaman Robertson from the battlefield where he lay for 100 years and privileged to be here today to see him laid to rest alongside his comrades.

"We will care for his grave here forever."

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