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

Just Posted

CRIMESTOPPERS: Williams Lake RCMP seek public’s assistance

Williams Lake RCMP released three names of people they are looking for

CRD board on the road travels to Tatla Lake

Broadband, plastics, cycling, grants for assistance and economic development were on the agenda

How closely are you following the federal election?

The weekly web poll for the 100 Mile Free Press

Treasure in Lone Butte: woman discovers time capsule while metal-detecting

A White Rock woman is eager to complete a South Cariboo treasure hunt from 2002

Three local schools see registration numbers drop for 2019-2020 school year

Despite some local schools experiencing a registration drop, others saw their student body increase

VIDEO: Liberals make child care pledge, Greens unveil platform on Day 6 of campaign

Green party leader Elizabeth May unveils her party’s platform in Toronto

Fewer trees, higher costs blamed for devastating downturn in B.C. forestry

Largest driving factor is the province’s complex stumpage system that results in high fees, expert says

20 day search for missing Labradoodle in Princeton, B.C. ends with tears of joy

The search brought out bloodhounds, and groups hoping to find Mordy

Canucks sign Brock Boeser to three-year, US$17.6-million deal

Young sniper will be in Vancouver Tuesday

B.C. forest industry looks to a high-technology future

Restructuring similar to Europe 15 years ago, executive says

RCMP conclude investigation into 2017 Elephant Hill wildfire

Files have been turned over to BC Prosecution Service

B.C. wants to be part of global resolution in opioid company bankruptcy claim

Government says settlement must include Canadian claims for devastation created by overdose crisis

B.C. ends ‘birth alerts’ in child welfare cases

‘Social service workers will no longer share information about expectant parents without consent’

U.S. student, killed in Bamfield bus crash, remembered as ‘kind, intelligent, talented’

John Geerdes, 18, was one of two UVic students killed in the crash on Friday night

Most Read