Canadian soldier buried in Netherlands during WWII identified after 75 years

Trooper Henry George Johnston, of Chauvin, Alberta, has been identified as the man buried in an unknown grave in the Netherlands during the Second World War. Supplied

The Defence Department says it’s identified remains of a Canadian soldier buried in a cemetery in the Netherlands near the end of the Second World War.

Trooper Henry George Johnston’s identity was confirmed under a program dedicated to identifying newly found skeletal remains and Canadian service members buried in nameless graves.

Johnston was buried as an unknown soldier in 1945 in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s Mook war cemetery in the Netherlands.

After training in Ontario, Alberta-born Johnston arrived in the United Kingdom in July 1944. He was killed in Operation Blackcock in the Netherlands the following January.

Read more: Alberta veteran honoured years later during ceremony at Beechmount Cemetery

Johnston was born in 1915 in the village of Chauvin, Alta., east of Wainwright near the Saskatchewan border.

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He married Amelia Alice (née Wearden) in 1939 and the pair had five children. Before the war, he had worked at a saw mill in Chinook Valley, Alberta.

The Johnston family in 1943. Clockwise from top left: Amelia holding Leona, Henry holding Yvonne, Ken, George. Courtesy / Family of Trooper Johnston

National Defence Canada says Johnston’s family was notified of his identification and provided with support.

The department says a headstone rededication ceremony will take place at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s Mook war cemetery in Limburg, Netherlands.

Headstone of the unknown soldier prior to Trooper Johnston’s identification. Courtesy / Veterans Affairs Canada

–With files from Allison Bench, Global News


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