First World War: Canadian soldier’s remains identified


The remains of a Canadian soldier who fought in a number of battles throughout the First World War — returning to the entrance at one level after being wounded — has been identified greater than 100 years after his demise, the federal authorities introduced on Friday.

The Department of National Defence and Canadian Armed Forces stated in a information launch that the remains of Pvt. Harry Atherton, recovered in France greater than 5 years in the past, have been confirmed by means of historic, genealogical, anthropological, archeological and DNA evaluation.

Atherton fought with the tenth Canadian Infantry Battalion on the primary day of the Battle of Hill 70 close to Lens in northern France on Aug. 15, 1917.

Although he was reported wounded, later reviews stated he had been killed in motion at 24 years previous.

The Canadian Armed Forces has notified Atherton’s household and plans are to bury him on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s Loos British Cemetery in Loos-en-Gohelle, France, close to Lens.

“The identification of Pvt. Atherton provides the Canadian Armed Forces the chance to pay its respects and supply him with a closing resting place,” Defence Minister Anita Anand stated in a press release.

“His braveness and selfless service can by no means be absolutely repaid. But Canada will keep in mind and honour him, and people like him who gave a lot for this nation within the First World War. To his household I prolong my sympathy and gratitude.”

Atherton’s remains have been recovered throughout a munitions clearing north of Lens on July 11, 2017, together with an identification disc and tenth Battalion insignia.

The Canadian Armed Forces Casualty Identification Review Board confirmed the id of Atherton’s remains in October 2021, with assist from the Canadian Forces Forensic Odontology Response Team and Canadian Museum of History. He joins eight different Canadian troopers who died within the Battle of Hill 70 and whose remains have been later identified.

Born in Leigh, England in 1893, Atherton grew up in Tyldesley, England, earlier than transferring on his personal to Canada in 1913. After settling in McBride, B.C., Atherton labored as a carpenter earlier than enlisting in March 1916.

He joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force with the 63rd Canadian Infantry Battalion in Edmonton at 23. He left port the next month for England from Saint John, N.B., and arrived in France in July 1916 with the tenth Canadian Infantry Battalion.

Atherton fought in a number of battles earlier than being wounded and spent just a few months in England recovering. He returned to the entrance in March 1917.

The Battle of Hill 70 lasted from Aug. 15 to Aug. 25, 1917. Although the battle resulted within the seize of Hill 70, it left greater than 10,000 Canadians killed, wounded or lacking.

Atherton’s identify can be engraved on the Canadian National Vimy Memorial, which incorporates those that died in France and haven’t any recognized grave.

Veterans Affairs Minister Lawrence MacAulay stated whereas it has been greater than a century since Atherton died within the Battle of Hill 70, he’s proud that he may be offered a correct burial.

“His contributions to Canada won’t ever be forgotten,” MacAulay stated. “Lest we overlook.”


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