George Alfred Newburn:
A soldier of the First World War
Story by Stephen J. Thorne
His name was George Alfred Newburn, a labourer from Victoria who was killed during the Battle of Hill 70 in France on Aug. 15, 1917. He was just 18 years old, although Newburn would have you believe he was 20.
For almost a century, Private Newburn was listed as missing in action. Then one day in July 2017, construction workers uncovered the skeletal remains of five soldiers near rue Léon Droux in the village of Vendin-le-Vieil.
In February, after extensive historical, genealogical, anthropological, archaeological and DNA analysis, the military’s Casualty Identification Review Board confirmed the identity of a single set of remains as those of Newburn.