Robert Henry White: An Unknown Soldier


Robert Henry White: An Unknown Soldier by Janet Smolders

All Canadians are familiar with the Unknown Soldier. Almost 61,000 soldiers died during the First World War. A significant number, about 11,500, have no known grave. The remains of close to 7,000 soldiers could not be identified and are buried as Unknown Soldiers, “known only to God.” Perhaps lost forever, the remains of almost 4,500 soldiers were never found and are still out there, somewhere on the battlefields. All of these soldiers, like the author’s great uncle, Robert Henry White (Bert), are commemorated at Unknown Soldier Memorials to the Missing in Belgium and France.

Only in Canada for three months as an Irish immigrant, Bert, along with 25,000 other young men, enthusiastically “flocked to the colours” and joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force in August 1914. He survived for less than a day in the Second Battle of Ypres in Belgium, Canada’s first major battle of the war. Missing and presumed killed in action on April 23, 1915, Bert’s body is scattered across the Ypres salient. He was only nineteen.

With no funeral or grave to visit or ever hope to visit, Bert’s family and thousands of families across Canada were haunted by questions. “Is he still alive?” “Is there any hope he could still be alive?” “Where are you, where are you?” Using Bert’s Service Record, the 3rd Battalion War Diary, and other historical resources, the author was able to solve the puzzle of Bert’s final hours in the Second Battle of Ypres.

ISBN: 978-1-77257-345-9 (PB)
ISBN: 978-1-77257-346-6 (eBook) – To be released at a later date

25 in stock (can be backordered)

Additional information

Weight 0.330 kg
Dimensions 23 × 15.5 × 1.5 cm


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