The remains of a fallen soldier have been identified as those of an 18-year-old from Esquimalt.
According to the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces, Private George Alfred Newburn died on August 15th, 1917, in the Battle of Hill 70.
His remains were found near the village of Vendin-le-Vieil, France in July 2017, nearly 100 years after his death.
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Veterans Affairs Canada has notified his family of the discovery, and he will be buried by his regiment at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s Loos British Cemetery outside Loos-en-Gohelle, France, on June 12th.
Pte. Newburn joined the 7th Canadian Infantry Battalion with the Canadian Expeditionary Force when he was just 16 years old.
He was born in London, England in 1899 and immigrated to Esquimalt with his family when he was very young.
“Private George Alfred Newburn is part of a proud legacy of Canadians who fought valiantly as members of our Expeditionary Force, demonstrating great courage and character in the face of tremendous adversity,” states Lieutenant-General Jean-Marc Lanthier, Commander of the Canadian Army.
“This legacy continues in the proud traditions of today’s Army. We honour Private Newburn for his service and his sacrifice; he will forever remain in our memory.”
The Battle of Hill 70 that took place between August 15th and 25th was the first major action fought by the Canadian Corps under a Canadian commander in the First World War.
Around 2,100 Canadians died in that battle. Of those, 1,300 remain unidentified.