Identification of pre-existing unknown grave of Canadian service member

You may have seen press reports that the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces have confirmed that the grave of an unknown soldier in Bois-Carré British Cemetery in Thélus, France, is that of Sergeant Arthur Melvin, a Canadian soldier of the First World War.

The DND press release is here.

Contributing to the identification was the Canadian Forces Forensic Odontology Response Team. According to the website Casualty Identification Program “Teeth and jaws can be unique to an individual and used to identify remains. If dental records are available, the forensic odontologists are able to make comparisons that may lead to identification.”

As in this case the remains were buried, and disinterrment for identification is not permitted, one wonders how comparison of teeth and jaws were made.


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