Skip to main content

A padre says a prayer near a coffin bearing the remains of Canadian Private Albert Laubenstein during a ceremony at the Canadian War Cemetery in Bergen op Zoom, south-west Netherlands, Wednesday, May 6, 2015.

Phil Nijhuis/AP

Canadian Pvt. Albert Laubenstein found his final resting place on Wednesday, 70 years after he was killed during the Allied advance through the Netherlands in the closing months of World War II.

Laubenstein was buried with military honours at the Canadian War Cemetery in the Netherlands, 70 kilometres (45 miles) from where he fought and died in a battle amid Dutch canals and rivers to drive the Germans back east. His remains were found only last year and his burial was one of the highlights of a week of remembrances and celebrations to mark Canada's part in the liberation of the Netherlands.

"Private Albert Laubenstein, at the going down of the sun, and in the morning, we shall remember you," said military chaplain Murray Bateman during a ceremony attended by hundreds of onlookers in both brilliant sunshine and high winds and driving rain.

Story continues below advertisement

Laubenstein appeared all but lost for decades. He was killed in action during the Battle of Kapelsche Veer in the winter of 1945 and was given a battlefield grave that was soon forgotten in the chaos of war.

It took a hobbyist with a metal detector scanning the southern banks of the Maas River last June to pick up a suspicious signal of old cartridges and a silver ring among human remains. A check of dental records, historical documents and artifacts led to the identification of Laubenstein.

That discovery brought memories of the soldier back to life for his family.

"Because of all this, we have learned so much. So many things about his personality and his life and his service," said grandniece Sarah Penton, a 39-year-old from Winnipeg. "He went from being this close to being forgotten, a whole 30 years' worth of a life a distant memory for my dad and hardly known for my brother and I."

Some 7,600 Canadians died in the Netherlands while helping to liberate the nation from Nazi oppression.

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Cannabis pro newsletter