Canadian military identifies soldier buried in France a century ago with no name

WINNIPEG –

A Canadian man killed in the First World War and buried in France has spent more than a century identified only as an unknown soldier – until now.

At the Vis-en-Artois British Cemetery, in Haucourt, France, there are rows upon rows of graves – the final resting place for more than 2,300 soldiers killed while fighting in the First World War.

More than half of them are unidentified.

Among those rows, a Canadian soldier was buried more than 100 years ago in a grave marked as an unknown soldier.

In a release on Monday, Canada’s Department of National Defence along with the Canadian Armed Forces announced they have identified the grave as that of Lance Corporal Morgan Jones Jenkins.

“While unmarked graves are an unfortunate reality of the brutal fighting on the Western Front, those graves contain the remains of real people that gave their lives in service of their country,” Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, said in a news release.

“The identification of Lance Corporal Jenkins is an important reminder of that, and I’m glad he will now receive the recognition that his service to Canada deserved.”

Jenkins was born in Wales in 1886 and later immigrated to Canada and studied in Manitoba at the Manitoba Agricultural College.

With the First World War raging on, Jenkins enlisted in Saskatoon and sailed for England in September 1915. There he was transferred to Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI). He was promoted to Lance Corporal after he was shot in the leg in August 1916.

During his nearly three years fighting in the war, Jenkins served in the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI), and the Canadian Corps’ intelligence service.

Jenkins was killed in action on August 28, 1918, at the age of 32. He was buried with a number of other Canadians killed in combat that day.

Jenkins’ grave was identified in 2019 with the help Commonwealth War Graves Commission, independent researchers, and the Directorate of History and Heritage.

The Canadian Armed Forces said Jenkins’ family has been notified.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission said a new headstone is being ordered his Jenkin’s name and his details. A headstone rededication ceremony will be held at the cemetery to give Jenkins his name back after more than a century. 

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