As the final notes from the Last Post fade away on Wednesday morning at a cemetary near Ypres, three British sisters will lay a wreath at the graveside of a relative whose body they thought would never be found.
For 100 years, 2nd Lieutenant Eric Henderson was missing in action after being gunned down by German soldiers in the battle for the Western Front in the First World War. He was just 21 and serving in the London Regiment Post Office Rifles.
But last year, workmen digging to widen a road near the village of Voormezele, West Flanders, unearthed his remains. Unlike most soldiers’ bodies, they were able to identify him because a single silver coin engraved with his name and regiment lay next to him.
This week his great nieces, Sarah Foot, Lucy Cocup and Judith Leyman, will join locals, representatives from his old regiment and the British Embassy in Belgium to lay him to rest.
“Thank goodness they found him,” Mrs Foot, a 59-year-old school administrator from Twickenham, South West London, said. “I’m terrifically proud of him. I expect the whole thing will be overwhelming. To us he is Great Uncle Eric.”