A Tale of Two Soldiers Who Fought in the Great War

They gave their lives for Canada, but who were they? It took the experts many years and much selfless effort to find out.

Thanks to their labours and expertise, the remains of two Canadians soldiers who were lost at Avion nearly 100 years ago were finally identified as belonging to Pte. Herbert Peterson of Berry Creek, Alta., and Pte. Thomas Lawless of Medicine Hat.

Photo: Canadian soldier Thomas Lawless, shown here in an undated photo with his cousin Eilleen, died in France in June, 1917. His remains, identified through an oxygen analysis of the teeth, were buried at Vimy in March 2011, 94 years after his death.

In the end, the verdict that positively identified Lawless’s remains as his turned on an arcane measurement, an isotopic test that gauged the difference in the quality of fresh water to be found in two disparate parts of the world — Dublin, Ireland, and Cape Breton Island — as revealed by the oxygen content in the enamel of four human teeth.

After examining the material, the Canadian team were able to estimate the age of the two soldiers when they died (based on the condition of their teeth), and their approximate height (based on the length of certain bones).

To keep reading please visit: http://www.thestar.com/news/insight/2014/08/08/a_tale_of_two_soldiers_who_fought_in_the_great_war.html.

By:  Feature Writer “A Tale of Two Soldiers Who Fought in the Great War” Previously known only to God: Toronto Star – 8 August 2014.