Four Canadian First World War soldiers buried in France

On May 22, 2018, the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and Department of National Defence (DND) identified the remains of three Canadian soldiers from the First World War found near the village of Vendin-le-Vieil, France, as Private William Del Donegan, 20, Private Henry Priddle, 33, and Sergeant Archibald Wilson, 25.

The three soldiers enlisted in Winnipeg and passed on August 16, 1917, during the Battle of Hill 70. They were members of 16th Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF), a unit sustained by The Canadian Scottish Regiment (Princess Mary’s) of Victoria, B.C.

About a week later, the CAF and DND announced the identification of a fourth Canadian soldier who also fought in the Battle of Hill 70. He was found at the site of a construction project in Lens, France, and identified as Private John (Jack) Henry Thomas, of Chewale, South Wales, UK, and Birch Ridge, N.B. 

He was a member of the 26th Canadian Infantry Battalion (New Brunswick), CEF, a unit perpetuated by The Royal New Brunswick Regiment of Fredericton, N.B. Private Thomas died on August 19, 1917, at the age of 28, in the Battle of Hill 70.

Together, the four Canadian soldiers were laid to rest at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s (CWGC) Loos British Cemetery outside Loos-en-Gohelle, France, on August 23, 2018.

Families of the four soldiers were in attendance through the generosity of Veterans Affairs Canada. Representatives of the Government of Canada and the Government of France will also be in attendance.

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