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Remembered Today:

Pte Harry Atherton Canadian Infantry: Burial 8 June 2023


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Just for good measure the details of the the third Canadian soldier to be buried on 8 June next at the Loss british cemetery:

Canadian soldier of the First World War identified

From: National Defence

News release

Cap badge found with Private Atherton

October 28, 2022 – Ottawa – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

The Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) have confirmed the identification of remains recovered during a munitions clearing process in Vendin-le-Vieil, France, as being those of Private Harry Atherton, a Canadian soldier of the First World War. The identity was confirmed through historical, genealogical, anthropological, archaeological and DNA analysis.

Harry Atherton was born in Leigh, England, in 1893, and grew up in Tyldesley, England. He moved to Canada in 1913 by himself. He settled in McBride, British Columbia, and worked as a carpenter before enlisting in March 1916.

Atherton joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) with the 63rd Canadian Infantry Battalion (Edmonton) at the age of 23. The following month, Private Atherton left the port of Saint John, New Brunswick, bound for England. After training, he arrived in France in July 1916, as a member of the 10th Canadian Infantry Battalion, and fought in several battles before being wounded and sent back to England to recover. He returned to the front in March 1917.

On 15 August 1917, Private Atherton fought with the 10th Battalion during the first day of the Battle of Hill 70 near Lens, France. He was reported as wounded that day but later reports stated that he had been killed in action. He was 24 years old. The Battle of Hill 70 continued until 25 August 1917, with a heavy toll of more than 10,000 Canadians killed, wounded, or missing. The 10th Battalion suffered 429 casualties, 71 with no known grave.

The CAF has notified the family of Private Atherton’s identification and is providing them with ongoing support. Private Atherton will be buried at the earliest opportunity in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s Loos British Cemetery in Loos-en-Gohelle, France.

The Canadian Armed Forces’ Casualty Identification Program, within the Directorate of History and Heritage, identifies unknown Canadian service members when their remains are recovered. The program also identifies service members previously buried as unknown soldiers when there is sufficient evidence to confirm the identification.


"The identification of Private Atherton gives the Canadian Armed Forces the opportunity to pay its respects and provide him with a final resting place. His courage and selfless service can never be fully repaid. But Canada will remember and honour him, and those like him who gave so much for this country in the First World War. To his family I extend my sympathy and gratitude.”

The Honourable Anita Anand, Minister of National Defence

“Though it has been more than a century since we lost Private Atherton in the Battle of Hill 70 during the First World War, I’m proud that we were able to identify his remains and provide him with a proper burial. His contributions to Canada will never be forgotten. Lest we forget.”

The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence

Quick facts

  • Harry Atherton was born in England in 1893, the son of James Henry Atherton and Sarah Atherton (née Bradbury).

  • Private Atherton is commemorated on the Canadian National Vimy Memorial, erected in memory of Canadian soldiers killed in France during the First World War who have no known grave.

  • On 11 July 2017, human remains were recovered during a munitions clearing process north of Lens, France. Commonwealth War Graves Commission staff recovered the remains and several artifacts, including an identification disc and insignias of the 10th Battalion.

  • Through historical, genealogical, anthropological, archaeological, and DNA analysis, with the assistance of the Canadian Forces Forensic Odontology Response Team, and the Canadian Museum of History, the Casualty Identification Review Board was able to confirm the identity of the remains as those of Private Harry Atherton in October 2021.

  • Veterans Affairs Canada works with the Casualty Identification Program to identify next of kin and supports the participation of the two closest next of kin in the burial ceremony overseas.

  • The Commonwealth War Graves Commission commemorates the 1.7 million Commonwealth servicemen and women who died during the two world wars. Using an extensive archive, the Commission works with their partners to recover, investigate, and identify those with no known grave to give them the dignity of burial and the commemoration they deserve.

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  • 4 weeks later...

RIP :poppy:


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