Sheffield family hopes DNA will identify soldier

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DNA testing is being carried out to establish whether the grandfather of a Sheffield pensioner was among 15 World War I heroes found four years ago beneath a French building site.

Frank Wood, from Woodhouse Mill, and his relatives have been waiting to see whether Lance Corporal Larrett Roebuck is among the 15 soldiers discovered at Beaucamps Ligny.

Efforts have been ongoing to identify the remains, discovered during building work in the French town in 2009.

The Army has now revealed the identities of some of the troops, and made an appeal to trace their descendants.

Frank said: “The Ministry of Defence is now on with testing DNA and my cousin has given a sample.

“We have heard that later this year there will be a meeting called by the MoD to keep the families informed.

“We are looking forward to this so we might know if our grandad was one of the 15.”

L/Cpl Roebuck, a former Huddersfield Town professional footballer, was killed in the Beaucamps Ligny area on October 18, 1914.

He left a wife, a son and three daughters.

Last week the Army launched an appeal to track down descendants of two other South Yorkshire soldiers killed at Beaucamps Ligny in October 1914, after their bodies were identified.

The pair were Lance Sergeant George Edwardes, aged 26, from Barnsley, and Private Ross Jeff, aged 20, from Moss, Doncaster.

All the 15 soldiers found at Beaucamps Ligny were members of the York and Lancaster Regiment.

■ Relatives of L/Sgt Edwardes or Pte Jeff are urged to contact Lynne Gammond by emailing or calling 07769 887 707.