Remains of First World War soldiers identified
WINNIPEG – Almost a century after they died in the First World War, the Canadian Armed Forces and Department of National Defence have identified the remains of four Canadian soldiers that were found in France.
Lt. Clifford Neelands, Lance Sgt. John Lindell, Private Lachlan McKinnon and Private Williams Simms were part of the Winnipeg Grenadiers when they died in the Somme area following the first attack of the Battle of Amiens in August 1918.
“It’s what we have a program for,” said Laurel Clegg, casualty identification co-ordinator at the Department of National Defence, who is looking into more than 200 active cases of missing soldiers. “It’s to give them that dignity of providing them with a known burial place, which is the ultimate respect you can pay to their sacrifice.”
Of the nearly 68,000 Canadian fatalities during the First World War, more than 19,000 members have no known grave. A final resting place for the soldiers is currently being decided.
“They made the ultimate sacrifice in serving our country and ensuring that we have our freedoms,” said James Bezan, parliamentry secretary for the minister of national defence. “It helps give some closure to families.”