The remains of Sergeant Richard Musgrave have been formally identified by the Canadian Armed Forces Casualty Identification Program following the recovery of remains and artefacts by CWGC during a munitions clearing operation north of Lens, France.
Richard Musgrave was born in Blackrigg, Scotland in 1884, to Rebecca Musgrave, He had a sister Jeannie (Jane). He worked as a teamster in Calgary before enlisting at the age of 28 with the 56th Overseas Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF). As a member of the 7th Infantry Battalion (British Columbia), CEF, he was reported missing on August 15, 1917, and was presumed to have died as part of the Battle of Hill 70 near Lens, France. Sergeant Musgrave was 30 years old.
As his body was not recovered, Sergeant Musgrave is commemorated on the Canadian National Vimy Memorial, which commemorates all those Canadian soldiers who died in France during the First World War who have no known grave.
The Canadian Armed Forces has notified the family of Sergeant Musgrave of his discovery and identification. He will be buried alongside his comrades in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s Loos British Cemetery in Loos-en-Gohelle, France and his grave marked with a headstone bearing his name.
The Honourable Anita Anand, Minister of National Defence said:
“My thoughts today are with the family of Sergeant Musgrave, a Canadian soldier who paid the ultimate sacrifice during the First World War. The Canadian Armed Forces is committed to providing service members with a final resting place, regardless of how many years have passed. The debt that Canada owes to him for his courageous service and sacrifice can never be repaid. We will forever owe him, and all fallen Canadian soldiers and their families, our deepest gratitude. Lest we forget.”
The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence said:
“Canada will never forget the dedicated soldiers who served our country. More than 100 years have passed since Sergeant Musgrave was killed during the Battle of Hill 70 and, still, we make it our duty to remember and honour him and his comrades. Though his name is chiseled into the white stone of the Vimy Memorial, identifying his remains gives his family and his country the opportunity to contemplate his courage and sacrifice in service to Canada.”