95 years after the signing of the armistice ending the First World War, 21 German soldiers who died in that conflict were given a full military burial Wednesday at a cemetery in Northern France.
The bodies of the men were found last year during excavations for a road project at Carspach, in the Alsace region of France along the war's famed Western Front. During the excavations, the French archaeology team discovered the bodies in a nearly-perfectly preserved shelter that was caved in by the explosion of an Allied shell in March 1918.
According to the Daily Mail, the archaeologists compared their find to the ancient Roman city of Pompeii, since the skeletal remains were found in the same positions the soldiers had been in at the time of the collapse.
On Wednesday, the remains of the soldiers were interred at the German war cemetery at Illfurth. The services were attended by around 150 people, including French and German diplomats, veterans, and serving soldiers. However, a spokesman for the German War Graves Commission told the Mail that none of the living relatives of the soldiers were able to attend.
"We wrote to three or four families who we could track down but sadly there were no family members at the funeral," Fritz Kirchmeier said.
"The great granddaughter of one of the men wrote a letter which was read out at the service, however."
The soldiers have all been identified and were discovered with possessions including boots, helmets, weapons, wine bottles, spectacles, wallets, pipes, cigarette cases and pocket books.