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Newsletter April 2011
APRIL 2011 - VOLUME 3, EDITION 2
First World War soldier returns to Vimy
Canadian reburied with full honours at La Chaudière Military Cemetery
Thomas Lawless, born on April 11, 1889 in Dublin, Ireland, immigrated to Alberta with his brother Matthew in 1909 and worked on a farm near Gleichen. He enlisted in the CEF in 1915, nine months after Matthew. Lawless and 15 others went missing the night of 8-9 June 1917 during a massive trench raid on the German lines south of Avion near Vimy. In October 2003, the remains of two of these missing soldiers were unearthed by a construction crew while building a gas pipeline.
Through DNA, the first soldier was identified in 2007 as Private Herbert Peterson of Berry Creek, Alberta. In early 2011, after four years of anthropological, historical and biological research, the second set of remains were confirmed as those of 28 year old Lawless.
“The courage and dedication of our Canadian First World War heroes will never be forgotten,” said the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence. “After all these years, we finally recognize Private Thomas Lawless with the honour and dignity he so greatly deserves.”
Herbert Peterson and Thomas Lawless are now buried side by side at La Chaudière. May they rest in peace.
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