Unknown grave identified as Winnipeg soldier from First World War


The Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) have confirmed the identity of an unknown grave as a Winnipeg soldier from the First World War.

The soldier has been identified as Corp. George Herbert Ledingham, who was partially identified as an unknown corporal with the 43rd Battalion when he was buried in the Canada Cemetery in Tilloy-lez-Cambrai, France.

Ledingham was born on Feb. 17, 1887, in Scotland. He enlisted in Winnipeg in November 1915 and joined the 179th Battalion.

Private Ledingham’s unit sailed from Halifax in October of 1916. When the unit arrived in England, the 179th Battalion was absorbed into the 17th Reserve Battalion.

In November 1916, Ledingham was posted to the 43rd Canadian Infantry Battalion in France and served with them until his death.

Ledingham was awarded the good conduct badge in October 1917. The following year he was promoted to the rank of lance corporal and then corporal.

Ledingham died on Oct. 1, 1918, at the age of 31.

The Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada’s command team went to Almonte, Ont., to notify Ledingham’s family of the identification. After the immediate next of kin was notified, a public ceremony was held at the Almonte branch of the Royal Canadian Legion. The Winnipeg-based unit is providing the family with support.

A headstone rededication ceremony will take place as soon as possible at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Canada Cemetery in Tilloy-lez-Cambrai, France.

“My thoughts today are with the family of Corporal Ledingham, a Canadian soldier of the First World War who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country. The identification of Corporal Ledingham offers an opportunity for us all to remember the Canadian soldiers who served during the First World War,” said Minister of National Defence Anita Anand in a news release.

“To the family of Corporal Ledingham, I and all Canadians are grateful for your ancestor’s courage and bravery. We express our everlasting appreciation of his service and sacrifice. Lest we forget.” 

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