Wed, 18 May 2022

Canadian soldier of the First World War identified

Canada News Centre
30 Mar 2022, 23:45 GMT+10

March 30, 2022 - Ottawa - National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

The Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces have confirmed the identification of remains recovered during a munitions clearing process north of Lens, France, as being those of Sergeant Richard Musgrave, a Canadian soldier of the First World War. The identity was confirmed through historical, genealogical, anthropological, archaeological and DNA analysis.

Richard Musgrave was born in Blackrigg, Scotland in 1886. 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) on April 30, 1915. After sailing from Montreal and training in England, Private Musgrave travelled to France in February 1916, now as a member of the 7th Infantry Battalion (British Columbia), CEF. He achieved the rank of sergeant in March 1917, was wounded in April but remained on duty, and was awarded the Military Medal for bravery in July of that year.

On August 15, 1917, Sergeant Musgrave fought with the 7th Battalion during the first day of the Battle of Hill 70 near Lens, France. He was reported missing that day and was presumed to have died as part of the battle. He was 30 years old. The Battle of Hill 70 continued until August 25, 1917, with a heavy toll of more than 10,000 Canadians killed, wounded, or missing. More than 140 men of the 7th Battalion were killed, 118 of them missing and never found.

The Canadian Armed Forces has notified the family of Sergeant Richard Musgrave's identification and is providing them with ongoing support. Sergeant Musgrave 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.

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