Lieutenant Clifford Abraham Neelands

Between 2006 and 2007, eight sets of skeletal remains were discovered near Hallu, France. One set of remains were identified as those of Lieutenant Clifford Abraham Neelands.

Clifford Abraham Neelands was born in 1892 in Barrie, Ontario. Before enlisting in the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF), Neelands was a real estate agent and unmarried.

In May 1915 he enlisted in the 90th Canadian Infantry Battalion (The Royal Winnipeg Riffles), CEF in Winnipeg, Manitoba. In June 1916, Neelands arrived in Liverpool and was then transferred to the 78th Canadian Infantry Battalion (Winnipeg Grenadiers), CEF in August 1916. In that same month he embarked for France. In July 1917, Neelands was promoted to be temporary Lieutenant.

He served with the 78th Battalion until his death on 11 August 1918 in Hallu, France. Thirty-five soldiers of the 78th Battalion were presumed to have been killed in action at Hallu. Following the war, Lieutenant Neelands’s name was engraved on the Canadian National Vimy Memorial commemorating Canadian soldiers who died during the First World War and have no known grave.

In 2006, three sets of remains were discovered on private property in Hallu, France. Five more sets or remains were discovered the following year. The eight sets of discovered remains were analysed using anthropological methods, genetic testing, and isotope analysis and compared to the profiles of the 35 candidates. The Casualty Identification Program was able to confirm one set of remains as those of Lieutenant Clifford Abraham Neelands.

The interment of Lieutenant Neelands took place on 13 May 2015 at Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s Caix British Cemetery, in Caix, France. Members of Lieutenant Neelands’s family, as well as representatives from the Government of Canada and the Canadian Armed Forces, attended the ceremony.

For further information on Lieutenant Neelands, you can view his personnel file on the Library and Archives Canada website.

Information about casualty identification

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