« Non, votre martyre n’est pas fini, mes camarades, et le fer vous blessera encore quand la bêche du paysan fouillera votre tombe. » 

(No, your martyrdom is not over yet dear comrades, the iron will strike again when the peasant’s spade intrudes upon your tomb)

Roland Dorgelès, Artois, 1915.


The Great War is the first conflict where a real importance was attached to identifying fallen soldiers, with efforts made, wherever possible, to bury each body in an individual grave. But the conditions of the fighting and the scale of the loss of life often made a mockery of these efforts.