Gallipoli veteran and former Wellington resident finally given a gravestone after 100 years

A Gallipoli veteran, buried anonymously in a Wellington cemetery for over 100 years, has finally been given a gravestone.

Not even Corporal William Snelgrove's family knew he'd been laid to rest in Porirua - despite being local residents. 

The decorated World War One veteran has now been officially laid to rest in front of his descendents and members of the Defence Force.

Born in the UK, Snelgrove was evacuated from the Great War in 1915 with dysentry and defective vision.

Ruled medically unfit to serve, he moved to Wellington and worked as a chauffeur and motor mechanic in Porirua until 1918, when he died from the Spanish Flu.

"We checked the flu records against the records of servicemen and all of a sudden, we found we had another man," says Porirua historian Allan Dodson.

Back then, plots would have been marked by crosses which have long since disintegrated.

Not only was Corporal Snelgrove buried in an unnamed grave, his story was also lost in the annals of time.

Great nephew Denis didn't even know he existed, let alone that he was buried nearby.

"Ironically, I work 200 metres down the road and I've been there for about 20 years and I pass the cemetery twice every day... had no idea he was here," he told Newshub.

Denis says his father, uncles and grandfather all fought in World War Two.

He and his wife always pay tribute at Anzac Day, and now have one more veteran to add to the list. 

"It's put a different perspective on things and I think what we will do is make that little pilgrimage on Anzac Day and put a poppy on all their graves," he says.

A once forgotten hero, now officially written into history.