A POIGNANT memorial service has been held to remember a forgotten First World War soldier whose grave has never been visited in the 100 years since his death.

Private Frank Skuce was evacuated from France in October 1918 after being shot but died from his injuries in hospital in Poole, Dorset.

He was buried locally and seemingly forgotten about, until now.

Tony Hart, a secretary of a Royal Tank Regiment Association, spotted Pte Skuce's headstone while visiting the grave of a British soldier and decided to do some research into him.

Pte Skuce was a farmer's son from Manitoba, Canada, who was conscripted into the Canadian Army in 1918.

Mr Hart said he found no evidence that his family ever visited his grave, not least because his parents wouldn't have been able to afford the cost of travelling across the Atlantic.

So he decided to arrange for a memorial ceremony to take place on November 4 - the 100th anniversary of the soldier's death.

Reverend Penny Draper gave a reading at the service that was attended by about 20 people before the Last Post was played by a bugler.

A wreath was also laid at his grave in Poole Cemetery.

The touching message on the wreath read: "You answered the call to arms and crossed the ocean, destined never to return home.

"You honour us by resting here, and today, on the 100th anniversary of your passing, we honour you, a true Son of Canada."

Mr Hart said: "We were visiting another grave of a British soldier at the cemetery when we saw Pte Skuce's grave and decided to do some research into him.

"He was a farm boy from Nesbitt, Manitoba, and suddenly he's found himself the other side of the Atlantic.

"He had probably never been more than 50 miles from home in his life until he got conscripted.

"Then suddenly he's sent to a major war almost on the other side of the world.

"It is highly unlikely that any of his family have visited his grave.

"His name is on the headstone on the grave of his mother and father in Canada.

"Very few families of UK soldiers buried in France were ever able or could afford to go the grave of their relative.

"For farmers in the middle of Canada to travel across the Atlantic to visit graves in the early 1920s is I suspect something that did just not happen.

"We felt with the centenary it would be fitting to pay our respects to his sacrifice and honour his life."

Pte Skuce was born in 1897 in Manitoba, Canada.

He was a farmer before he was conscripted into the Canadian Army.

He was shot in the right hip during the advance to the River Selle on October 13, 1918.

After being admitted to a field hospital in Boulogne, he was then transferred to Cornelia Hospital in Poole where he spent the last weeks of his life

before succumbing to his wounds.