A POIGNANT appeal has been made for the relatives of a fallen First World War soldier to come forward in a bid to identify remains found in France.

The remains were found by chance when heavy rain uncovered a shallow grave in a garden near Beaurains, south of Arras, which was the site of heavy fighting in the First World War.

The Ministry of Defence believes the remains are one of four young officers who died in the area on May 3, 1917, and could be those of Second Lieutenant John Legge Bulmer, from Filey, who was attached to the 5th Battalion, Oxford and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry. He was just 22 when he was killed.

The Ministry now wants to trace relatives of Lt Bulmer in the hope a DNA sample could determine whether the body is his, and so the family can take part in a re-internment ceremony.

Lt Bulmer was the son of the Reverend Edward and Elizabeth Bulmer, of Brooklands, Filey. His only sister, Frances Elizabeth Bulmer, was born in 1888 and became a secretary at the Missionary School in York.

His brother Edward Stanley North Bulmer (corr) became a teacher and died in Askrigg, in the Yorkshire Dales, in 1972; while brothers Charles Regis Bulmer, born 1900, and Reginald Potter Bulmer, born in 1902, both lived and died in Darlington.

Anyone who can help trace the relatives should contact Lynne Gammond at the Army on 07769 887 707 or 03067 701 322 or lynne.gammond453@mod.uk