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Remembered Today:

Burial of 3 Canadian soldiers

battle of loos

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Hello Michel

Great photos !


I would suggest that you have this thread moved to the 'Recovering the Fallen' sub forum because the threads on this particular forum are deleted after thirty days.

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  • Admin

Moved as suggested.

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Just to add the CWGC reort with interesting details:

09 June 2023

Three World War One Canadian Soldiers reburied at Loos British Cemetery


Photo: Thomas Capiaux

Three Canadian soldiers of the First World War, Private Harry Atherton, Corporal Percy Howarth, and Sergeant Richard Musgrave, were laid to rest with military honours at CWGC Loos British Cemetery, Loos-en-Gohelle, France on the 8 June 2023.

The families of the soldiers were in attendance, with the support of Veterans Affairs Canada, along with representatives of the Government of Canada and the local French Government. All three soldiers were reported missing on August 15, 1917, on the first day of the Battle of Hill 70 near Lens, France, and each was presumed to have died as part of the battle.



Photos: Thomas Capiaux

"My thoughts today are with the families of Private Atherton, Corporal Howarth, and Sergeant Musgrave, three Canadian soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice during the First World War. The debt that Canada owes to them for their courageous service and sacrifice can never be repaid. We will remember them, and all fallen Canadian soldiers and their families, with the deepest gratitude.”
The Honourable Anita Anand, Minister of National Defence


Photo: Canadian Armed Forces

"Canada will never forget the dedicated soldiers who served our country. More than 100 years have passed since Private Atherton, Corporal Howarth, and Sergeant Musgrave were killed during the Battle of Hill 70 and, still, we make it our duty to remember and honour them. This is an opportunity to contemplate their courage and sacrifice in service to Canada.”
The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence

Corporal Percy Howarth

Percy Howarth was born on 15 August 1894 in Darwen, Lancashire, England to Richard and Margaret Howarth and seven siblings. He emigrated to Canada in 1912 working as a seaman in Vancouver, British Colombia before enlisting with the 121st ‘Overseas’ Battalion, CEF on 19 July 1916.

Arriving at Liverpool, England on 24 August 1916, Private Howarth joined the 7th Canadian Infantry Battalion, CEF, undergoing training and eventually joining his unit in France on 29 November 1916. While in France he was hospitalised with influenza for a week and was promoted to Lance Corporal in May 1917.

His Battalion was in the second wave at the Battle of Hill 70 on 15th August 1917 where he was reported missing, presumed dead and as such his name was added to the Canadian National Vimy Memorial to the missing after the First World War. He was 23.




During munitions clearing at a construction site in Vendin-le-Vieil, France on June 9th 2011, human remains and artefacts including a digging tool, whistle and pocket watch were discovered aiding in his identification.

Sergeant Richard Musgrave

sgtrichardmusgrave1648647700052.jpg?rmodRichard Musgrave was born in Blackrigg, Scotland in 1884, to Rebecca Musgrave. He had a sister Jeannie (Jane). He worked as a teamster in Calgary before enlisting at the age of 28 with the 56th Overseas Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF). As a member of the 7th Infantry Battalion (British Columbia), CEF, he was reported missing on August 15, 1917, and was presumed to have died as part of the Battle of Hill 70 near Lens, France. Sergeant Musgrave was 32 years old.

As his body was not recovered at the time of his death or in the post-war searches of the battlefields, Sergeant Musgrave was commemorated on the Canadian National Vimy Memorial, along with all those Canadian soldiers who died in France during the First World War who have no known grave.

The remains of Sergeant Richard Musgrave were formally identified by the Canadian Armed Forces Casualty Identification Program following the recovery of remains and artefacts by the CWGC during a munitions clearing operation north of Lens, France.

Private Harry Atherton



Harry Atherton was born on 15 November 1893 in Leigh, England. He was the son of James Henry Atherton and Sarah Atherton (née Ball). Atherton grew up in Tyldesley, England and moved to Canada in 1913 by himself. He settled in McBride, British Columbia and worked as a carpenter before enlisting.

On 31 March 1916, Atherton enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) with the 63rd Canadian Infantry Battalion (Edmonton), CEF in Edmonton, Alberta at the age of 23. On 22 April 1916 Private Atherton left the port of Saint John, New Brunswick, bound for England and arrived in Liverpool thirteen days later. Upon arrival, he was transferred to the 9th Reserve Infantry Battalion, CEF which absorbed the 63rd Battalion. After spending several months in the Shorncliffe Military Camp, Private Atherton arrived in France on 18 July 1916 after having been transferred the day before to the 10th Canadian Infantry Battalion, CEF. Upon his arrival, Private Atherton fought in several battles before being wounded. Due to his injuries, Atherton was sent to England to recover for a few months before returning 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. The assault had two main objectives, the positions known as the "Blue Line" and the "Green Line”. The 10th Battalion, being part of the 2nd Canadian Infantry Brigade, took part in the first assault for control of the "Blue Line". This objective was achieved, and the 10th Battalion led the continued advancement to the "Green Line". This objective was seized early in the morning of 16 August. From 14 to 18 August 1917, the 10th Battalion suffered 429 casualties, 71 with no known graves in connection to the assault on Hill 70. Private Atherton's service and medical records initially list him as wounded. In later reports he is stated to have been killed in action on 15 August 1917 at the age of 24.

Following the war, Private Atherton's name was engraved on the Canadian National Vimy Memorial. This memorial commemorates Canadian soldiers who died during the First World War and have no known grave.

On 11 July 2017, human skeletal remains were discovered during a munitions clearing process near rue Léon Droux in Vendin-le-Vieil, France. An insignia of the 10th Battalion and an illegible identification disc were found with the remains by the CWGC Recovery Unit. The identification disc was sent to the Canadian Conservation Institute where they were able to clean it. After the cleaning process, “10 BATT” was clearly visible at the bottom of the identification disc. The numbers “4 - - 658” showed a service number and on the upper right border of the disc, “ON” was visible. This information greatly helped to identify Private Atherton.

Their graves are marked with Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstones bearing their names and a personal inscription chosen by their families, and will be cared for in perpetuity by the Commission.

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