Burial for Langholm WWI Hero Richard Musgrave 100 Years After Death

A Dumfries and Galloway World War One soldier is being buried with full military honours more than 100 years after he died.

Richard Musgrave was born 22 September 1884 in Blackrigg, near Langholm, Dumfries and Galloway. His only listed parent was Rebecca Musgrave. Their family included Richard’s sister Jeannie (Jane) Musgrave. Before enlisting, Richard was working as a Teamster in Calgary, Alberta.

On 30 April 1915 at age 30, Richard enlisted with the 56th Overseas Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) in Calgary, Alberta. On 5 July 1915, he sailed from Montreal aboard S.S. Elele headed to Shorncliffe Army Camp in England for training. On 17 February 1916, Private Musgrave travelled to France as a new member of the 7th Infantry Battalion (British Columbia), CEF. Throughout 1916, Musgrave was promoted up the ranks until achieving the rank of sergeant on 19 March 1917. On 14 April 1917, Sergeant Musgrave was wounded, but it was minor enough to stay on duty. On 9 July 1917, he was awarded the Military Medal for bravery.

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 was 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.

On 11 July 2017, skeletal human remains were discovered during a munitions clearing process near rue Léon Droux and rue des Poissonniers, north of Lens, France. A few artifacts were found with the remains, including a Military Medal ribbon and a whistle.

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 Sergeant Richard Musgrave in October 2021.

Sergeant Musgrave will be buried by The British Columbia Regiment (Duke of Connaught’s Own)  in Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s Loos British Cemetery in Loos-en-Gohelle, France.


Information gathered from these links – https://www.canada.ca/en/department-national-defence/services/military-history/history-heritage/casualty-identification-military/sergeant-richard-musgrave.html 


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