This post is dedicated to all the thousands of soldiers, of whatever nationality, who were killed in action on the Somme and whose bodies were never found, or, as it says on the Thiepval Memorial to the British missing of the Somme:

To whom
The fortune of war
Denied the known
And honoured burial
Given to their
Comrades in death

After the war, the question of how to commemorate the missing dead became an extremely controversial subject on which emotions ran very high. There was much more agreement over how to mark the hundreds of thousands of graves of the unidentified dead. The War Graves Commission agreed that each one should have its own headstone, and that in the absence of any other information it should bear the dedication, chosen by Rudyard Kipling: 'A Soldier of the Great War Known Unto God'.
The inscription could be expanded to include even the slightest scrap of evidence as to the man's identity: A Private of the Great War Known Unto God; A Soldier of the Black Watch Known Unto God; An Australian Soldier of the Great War Known Unto God. However, when the inscription reads, 'A Soldier of the Great War Known Unto God' it means that there was no way of identifying that man, which of course means that he could be a French soldier, or a Portuguese soldier, or even a German soldier. Strangely, this possibility never seems to have troubled anyone, or if it did it never made it into the record books.
The 58th Annual Report of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, published on 1 April 1977, states that there are 204, 206 unidentified burials in their cemeteries. These will be the bodies of some of the 413,122 missing dead whose names are recorded on the memorials to the missing scattered across the battlefields of France and Flanders, and throughout the world. On the centenary of the first day of the Battle of the Somme, 1 July 1916, a day when 19,240 British soldiers were killed on that one day alone - of whom 12,400 have no grave and are commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial - we remember the dead of all the combatant nations.

Do you remember that hour of din before the attack, -
And the anger, the blind compassion that seized and shook you then
As you peered at the doomed and haggard faces of your men?
Do you remember the stretcher-cases lurching back
With dying eyes and lolling heads, - those ashen grey
Masks of the lads who were once keen and kind and gay?
Have you forgotten yet? ...
Look up, and swear by the green of the Spring that you'll never forget.

Siegfried Sassoon