Private Henry Edmonds Priddle

In 2011, human remains were found in Vendin-le-Vieil, France. The remains were confirmed as those of Private Henry Edmonds Priddle.

Henry Edmonds Priddle was born on 17 May 1884 in Norwich, Ontario, to parents William and Mary Ann Priddle. In 1910, he married Florence Hazen in his hometown before the couple settled down together in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Prior to enlistment, he worked as a broom-maker.

Priddle enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) with the 183rd Overseas Battalion on 1 April 1916 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He embarked in Halifax on 4 October 1916, arriving in Liverpool, England, nine days later on 13 October.

Two weeks after arriving in England, Private Priddle was transferred to the 108th Battalion located in Witley, England and on 10 January 1917, he was transferred to the 14th Reserve Battalion (The Royal Montreal Regiment). On 3 May 1917, Priddle proceeded to France where the 16th Canadian Infantry Battalion (The Canadian Scottish), CEF part of the Canadian Corps took him on strength on 9 May.

On 15 August 1917, the 16th Battalion participated in the assault on Hill 70. Beginning its assault at 4:25am, the 16th Battalion captured its first objective, the “Blue Line,” and their final objective, the “Green Line,” on schedule with limited casualties. On 16 August, the battalion suffered substantial losses when German artillery focused on the new Canadian Corps’ defensive positions. The Canadian Corps defences suffered heavy shelling for several days following the initial attack. The 16th Battalion was relieved by other Canadian troops in their frontline position at 4:00am on 17 August. Private Priddle was killed in action on 16 August 1917 at the age of 33.

Following the war, Private Priddle’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.

On 25 May 2011, skeletal human remains were discovered during a munitions clearing process near rue Léon Droux, Vendin-le-Vieil, France. Alongside the remains was a Canadian Scottish shoulder badge, among other artefacts.

Through historical, genealogical, anthropological, archaeological, and DNA analysis, with the assistance of the Canadian Forces Forensic Odontology Response Team, and the Canadian Museum of History, the Casualty Identification Review Board was able to confirm the identity of the remains as those of Private Henry Priddle in October 2017.

Private Priddle was buried on 25 August 2018 in Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s Loos British Cemetery in Loos-en-Gohelle, France by members of The Canadian Scottish Regiment (Princess Mary’s), from Victoria, British Columbia. Attending the burial were great-nephews, great-nieces and other family members, as well as representatives of the Government of Canada, the local French government and the Canadian Armed Forces.

For further information on Private Priddle, you can view his personnel file on the web site of Library and Archives Canada.

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