Private Alexander Johnston, who died during the Battle of the Canal du Nord in France on Sept. 29, 1918, is to be buried next week with full military honours. His body was recovered near the First World War battlefield in 2008 and subsequently identified by the Department of National Defence.
Born in Scotland in 1885, Johnston immigrated to Hamilton, Ont., and joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force on Jan. 5, 1918. He was part of the 78th Battalion, Manitoba Regiment.
Missing after the battle, Johnston’s name was inscribed on the Canadian National Vimy Memorial near Arras, France, along with more than 11,000 other Canadians who have no known graves. His name can also be found on page 437 of the First World War Book of Remembrance in the Memorial Chamber in the Parliament Buildings.
The soldier will be buried Oct. 25 at Le Cantimpre Canadian Cemetery in Sailly, France, with relatives from Scotland and Canada in attendance.
You can see the entry on Johnston on the Canadian Virtual War Memorial website by clicking here.
For a full exploration of how remains are identified, see Finding Names for Long-Lost Canadian Soldiers in the Jan./Feb. 2009 edition of Legion Magazine or online here.