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Remains of WW1Alberta soldier finally identified


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#51 Blackblue

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 10:20 AM

Huh? :blink:

What part of the story verified that one man was carrying the other? All Clegg has said is that because they were buried together, doesn't mean they died together. A good rational point as far as I am concerned.

The fact they were either buried together or happened to end up in the same hole is far more likely statistically than that one was in the process of rescuing the other. Nobody would be better placed to comment than the individual who led the investigation! Do we now assume that all those recovered lying across each other in the same hole were carrying out a rescue?

Again...fantastic result with these IDs....a lovely story...but it cannot be proven on the evidence by any stretch of the imagination I am afraid. I see nothing wrong with a simple stating of the facts...lets remember that the media loves to 'edit' people's comments.

#52 ianw

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 11:19 AM

The exact circumstances that brought them together are "Known unto God". One speculation is as good as another. We can take pride in giving them back their identities and an honoured place to lie side by side in perpetuity.

#53 Blackblue

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 11:43 AM

Every question deserves an answer....and the woman who led the recovery simply outlined the realities. All very well getting carried away with the nice version....but it was probably her measured response and reiterating of the facts that prevented the 'romanticised' version getting picked up and blown out of all proportion.

You are correct Ian...nobody knows the real truth....and my initial point was just that.

#54 David Faulder

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 03:50 PM

Just reported by the CWGC:

Reburial of Private Thomas Lawless at La Chaudiere Military Cemetery, Vimy, France
The remains of Private Thomas Lawless, of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, will be reburied with military honours by the Canadian Army at 10AM on 15 March 2011 at La Chaudiere Military Cemetery, France.
Members of Private Lawless’ family and representatives of the Canadian Embassy will be in attendance.
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Presumably this (announcement of a burial) means that his remains were kept since discovery unburied in the expectation of future techniques enabling an identification. Or have I got it wrong and was he buried at the same time as Herbert Peterson (hence the CWGC grave reference), but samples were retained and what is actually being announced is the dedication of a named gravestone?

Either way it is an interesting reflection on the (admirable) Canadian attitude:

from the previously given Edmonton Journal Link:

“One of the things that any military does is honour its fallen,” said Brink, a former commanding officer of the regiment. “And regardless of when the soldier was killed, we want to make sure we treat that person with the same dignity and respect as we would a soldier who was lost in Afghanistan. When a member of your regiment is buried, it’s always a major event for the unit.”

which matches the sentiments of an earlier quote (from The Care of the Dead 1916):

What this means for the French, one feels when one sees the visits of French soldiers' friends to their graves. The other day a French woman in deep mourning came here with a handful of white flowers to place upon one of these. Probably it was her son's, for she was not young. While she was arranging them at its head, there came into the cemetery one of the usual little bareheaded processions — a N.C.O. showing the way ; then an English chaplain with his open book ; then, on a stretcher, the body sewn up in a brown army blanket, a big Union Jack lying over it ; then half a dozen privates looking as Englishmen do at these moments — a little awkward, but simply and sincerely sorry. As they passed the French woman she rose and then, evidently moved by some impulse which shyness made it difficult to follow, fell in at the rear of the procession, with some of the flowers still in her hand. When I next saw them, the men were standing round the new grave, the chaplain was reading aloud, "dust to dust" and "ashes to ashes," and the woman, a few yards away, was kneeling on the ground. The service over, and the rest turning away, she came close to the grave, dropped the white flowers in, and went back to the other grave empty handed.

One knew, though the woman could not, how all this would be told to the dead Englishman's comrades ; and one felt the truth of Sir Douglas Haig's saying, that a kind of work which "does not directly contribute to the successful termination of the war" may still "have an extraordinary moral value to the troops in the field, as well as to the relatives and friends of the dead at home."

regardless of when the soldier was killed

David

#55 Broznitsky

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Posted 07 March 2011 - 01:56 PM

was he buried at the same time as Herbert Peterson (hence the CWGC grave reference), but samples were retained and what is actually being announced is the dedication of a named gravestone?

I would like to get an answer on this too David, so have started some inquiries.

#56 David Underdown

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    Also remembering my Great-Great-Uncle Pte 30649 Frederick John Holbrook, 2nd Bn, Welsh Regiment, Died of Wounds 26 July 1916, buried Heilly Station Cemetery, II D 11 aged 19 according to CWGC, but born 5 May 1898. Entered France 12 May 1915. (Avatar)

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Posted 28 March 2011 - 03:59 PM

Some other interesting echnology used in the ID process http://www.sync-blog...ng-soldier.html

#57 ph0ebus

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Posted 28 March 2011 - 04:48 PM

David,

Thanks for sharing that. Amazing what technology can do these days!

Daniel

#58 Broznitsky

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Posted 09 April 2011 - 09:31 PM

was he buried at the same time as Herbert Peterson

I've been advised his remains were held in the CWGC mortuary from the time of discovery until his placement besides Peterson. So the change on the CWGC database from Vimy to Chaudiere, prior to actual interment, must have been them "jumping the gun" by a few days.