Avion Casualty Identification

Private Herbert Peterson

Private Herbert Peterson
Private Herbert Peterson
(Photo: Used with the permission of the Peterson Family)

Herbert Peterson was born on 14 December 1895 in Scranton, Kansas. He later moved to Berry Creek, Alberta where he worked as a farmer.

In February 1916, Peterson joined the 137th Overseas Battalion in Calgary, Alberta.

In August of 1916, Private Peterson arrived in Surrey, England with the 137th Battalion. Transferred to the 49th Battalion in December 1916 he then went to France in January 1917. He served with the 49th Battalion until his death on 9 June 1917.

Because his remains could not be recovered, his name is listed on the Vimy Memorial.

Headstone of Private Herbert Peterson at La Chaudière Military Cemetery.
Headstone of Private Herbert
Peterson at La Chaudière Military
Cemetery. (Photo: Laurel Clegg)

In October 2013, two sets of remains were discovered near the city of Avion, France.

Between 2003 and 2007, the Casualty Identification Program attempted to identify the remains, using historical research, anthropological analysis, and genetic testing. Through these means, one of the two sets of uncovered remains were positively identified as Private Peterson.

Private Peterson was buried in April 2007 in La Chaudière Military Cemetery, Vimy. In March 2011, the soldier with whom he had been discovered was identified as Private Thomas Lawless and interred alongside him.

For further information on Private Peterson, you can view his Attestation Paper at Library and Archives Canada.

Circumstances of Death for Herbert Peterson

Killed in Action.

808723 Private Peterson Herbert

49th Battalion On or since 9-6-17 649-P-7276 Presbyterian

"Previously reported Missing, now for official purposes presumed to have died."

He took part in a raid on enemy trenches South of Avion, on the morning of June 9th, 1917. The party came under very heavy shell fire and on their return to our trenches Private Peterson was missing. Several of his comrades stated that he had been killed, but no definite information verifying this has been obtained.


Circumstance of Death Register for Herbert Peterson
Circumstance of Death Register for Herbert Peterson
(from Library and Archives Canada)