Thursday, 12 April 2018

BIFHSGO April Meeting

Saturday, 14 April
Identifying the Remains of Canadian Soldiers from the First and Second World Wars
10:00 am to 11:30 am
The Chamber, Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Drive, Ottawa, Ontario

Dr. Sarah Lockyer, from the Directorate of History and Heritage at the Department of National Defence, will talk about the Casualty Identification Program and its aims to identify the newly discovered skeletal remains of Canadian service members. The process involves many disciplines, including archaeology, history, forensic anthropology, genealogy and DNA analysis. She will explain the process, as well as the recent successful identification of Sergeant James Alexander Milne, who was laid to rest on August 25, 2017 alongside his fallen comrades in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s (CWGC) Orchard Dump Cemetery near Arleux-en-Gohelle, France.

Dr. Lockyer will also discuss a recent case where identification was not possible: remains were buried on August 23, 2017 in CWGC’s Canadian Cemetery No. 2, in Neuville-St. Vaast, France as “A Canadian Soldier of the Great War. Known Unto God.” She will talk about the limits encountered by the Program, as well as its practices for inconclusive cases in the hopes that identification may be possible in the future.

Sarah Lockyer has a BSc in Anthropology from the Université de Montréal, an MSc in Forensic Archaeological Science from University College London, and a PhD in Bioarchaeology from Bournemouth University. She is the casualty identification coordinator for the Department of National Defence’s Directorate of History and Heritage and the Casualty Identification Program’s forensic anthropologist.

ICYMI: Recent identification of 9 more WW1 Australian soldiers. from the 1916 Battle of Fromelles.

The Before BIFHSGO presentation is:

No.1 Canadian Casualty Clearing Station
9:00 am to 9:30 am
No.1 Canadian Casualty Clearing Station was a medical unit of the Canadian Army Medical Corps located a few miles from the Front in World War I. It provided medical services to all soldiers wounded nearby, but the majority were British and Canadian soldiers. The chaplains stationed at No.1 CCCS kept journals of all deaths at the station. BIFHSGO volunteers transcribed the diaries and, as a WWI centenary project, decided to honour these soldiers by writing a short biography for each soldier. Sheila Dohoo Faure will explain how this research, almost exclusively based on public records, is done, how the biographies are written, and she will highlight a few interesting examples of soldiers’ lives.

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