A picture of Number 1 Company of the 7th Battalion in August 1916 at around the time Private George Alfred Newburn joined the battalion. It is believed that he served in Number 1 Company. (Courtesy of The British Columbia Regiment, Duke of Connaughts Own)

Remains of B.C. soldier identified in France, more than a century after death

Pte. George Alfred Newburn enlisted in Esquimalt at the age of 16 and died barely two years later

The remains of a Canadian soldier who was only 18 when he was killed in the First World War have been identified in France, more than 100 years after his death.

The Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces say the remains were discovered in July 2017 near the village of Vendin-le-Vieil and were identified earlier this year as those of Pte. George Alfred Newburn.

READ MORE: Belgian man searches for family of fallen First World War soldier from Victoria

He enlisted in Esquimalt at the age of 16 and died barely two years later on Aug. 15, 1917, during the first day of the Battle of Hill 70, a diversionary offensive aimed at distracting German reinforcements away from the Passchendaele battlefield.

In a statement, National Defence says Newburn was born in England but moved with his family to B.C.

He was assigned to the 7th Canadian Infantry Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force just three days before the battle.

The department says members of Newburn’s family have been notified and he will be will be buried June 12 in France by his regiment, which is now known as the British Columbia Regiment (Duke of Connaught’s Own), based in Vancouver.

The ceremony will take place at the Loos British Cemetery outside Loos-en-Gohelle.

More than 9,000 Canadian soldiers died in the Battle of Hill 70.

Defence Minister Harjit Sajan says honouring the service of fallen members is a dearly held value of the Canadian Armed Forces.

“In June, we’ll pay tribute to Pte. George Alfred Newburn as we will lay him to rest in the place he helped to liberate. Let us never forget the courage of our Canadian battalions during the Battle of Hill 70, and forever honour their service,” Sajan says in the statement.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

DOK seeks help stopping plant thieves

Suspicious behaviour should be reported to local RCMP

VIDEO: Car goes off Highway 1 and into a ditch in Chilliwack

Eastbound vehicle left the highway ending in the ditch on south side of Luckakuck Way

Emergency crews respond to ATV rollover near Harrison

ATV rolled over on or near Harrison East Forest Service Road near Harrison Hot Springs

Guilty verdict for one of two men in large illegal marijuana grow-operation in Chilliwack

Charges dismissed against property owner where 3,200 plants, 32 kgs of dried weed found in 2017

Cubs rescued, hunter fined after sow shot in Skagit Valley

Officers opt for fines, as hefty punishment could prevent hunter cooperation in future

QUIZ: A celebration of dogs

These are the dog days of summer. How much do you know about dogs?

300 Cache Creek residents on evacuation alert due to flood risk as river rises

Heavy rainfall on Canada Day has river rising steadily, threatening 175 properties

Friends, family remember victim of Langley possible triple-homicide fire at memorial

Memorial held for one the of three found dead at a house fire in Langley Meadows last month

Fraser Valley Bandits, CEBL bringing pro sports back later this month

Abbotsford-based basketball team kicks off CEBL Summer Series on July 26

Family and friends mark birthday of teen who died after being discovered in Langley park

Carson Crimeni suffered an apparent drug overdose, his final moments broadcast on social media

First glimpse of Canada’s true COVID-19 infection rate expected mid-July

At least 105,000 Canadians have tested positive for COVID-19 since the coronavirus was identified

Semi and BMW collide on South Surrey highway

At least one person to hospital, both vehicles sustained significant damage

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Most Read