Canadian casualties reinterred
13 May 2015
Eight First World War casualties of the Canadian Infantry have
been re-buried in a ceremony at Caix British Cemetery, France, with
five positively identified following anthropological and historical
The CWGC received a report that possible war-time remains had
been discovered in the back garden of a residential property in
Hallu, in the Somme region, in 2006.
Three sets of remains were carefully recovered, along with
badges, insignia and military equipment. The items found indicated
that the remains were of First World War soldiers of the Canadian
A further five sets of remains were discovered in close
proximity a year later, again accompanied by badges and insignia,
specifically from the 78th Battalion (Winnipeg), and one
Research conducted by the Canadian military authorities
established that the location of the discovery in Hallu aligned to
the position of the front-line held by the 78TH Battalion on 10th -
11th August 1918.
During that battle, the battalion suffered thirty five missing
and it was anticipated that the eight soldiers recovered from the
garden were therefore amongst this group.
From anthropological and historical research, the initial list
of thirty five possible candidates was reduced to a primary list of
twelve. DNA was successfully obtained from the remains
recovered and so a search was undertaken for the present-day
decedents of each of the twelve primary candidates.
To date, five of the eight casualties have been positively
identified as follows:
• Lieutenant Clifford Abraham Neelands
• Private Sidney Halliday, 148581.
• Lance Sergeant John Oscar Lindell, 147186.
• Private Lachlan McKinnon, 148130.
• Private William Simms, 148691.
All served in the 78th Bn., Canadian Infantry.
The ceremony, organised by the Canadian Authorities, was
attended by family members of the soldiers and representatives
from the Government of Canada, the Canadian Armed Forces and the
Bergen-op-Zoom Canadian War Cemetery
Canadian Second World War casualty Pte Albert Laubenstein
will also be reinterred in May, with a service held
at Bergen-op-Zoom Canadian War Cemetery.