Seniors Column

This week's column looks at Vimmy Ridge on the 100th anniversary of the battle.

Great numbers of writers and historians point to the Canadian victory which took place at Vimy Ridge, viewed as a defining moment in century old military history.

I for one, am a resident of the Nakusp region who together with others, reflects with gratitude, on our relatively safe and beautiful community, choosing to pause for a few moments while on an occasional walk. I gaze with sincere thanks at the names of local family members, which engrave the War Memorial monument stationed at our centrally located community park.

In particular, my thoughts stretch out in remembrance of the Canadian troops who had sacrificed their young lives during the Battle of Vimy Ridge which had taken place during the Great War year of 1917.

Although viewed as an outstanding victory at the time, this battle came at an enormous cost to the Canadian Military Corp. These were the many courageous young soldiers, some of whom may have been born and raised within this area before being shipped overseas to engage in war, a century ago.

The Canadian infantry had been well supported when entering battle. An estimated 1,000 artillery pieces had being laid down or were activated during the supportive fire, according to historical military records.

Four Canadian divisions united and stormed the Ridge at 5.30am on April 9, 1917.

In excess of 15,000 Canadian infantry overran the opposition along the front lines, all the while exhibiting incredible bravery and discipline. This allowed the soldiers to continue moving forward in spite of having to face heavy fire, even when the commanding officers themselves, had been killed.

Regretfully 3,598 Canadians were lost in action whilst a further 7,000 soldiers were wounded or recorded as missing on the Vimy Ridge battlefield. This great sacrifice underscored the cost of freedom which we are fortunate enough to experience today, for the sake of all who were to follow down through many generations since the battle had taken place.

The above information was supplied through the Battle of Vimy Ridge Canadian War Museum exhibition, displayed in Canada’s national museum of military history established as one of the world’s most respected museums intended for the study and understanding of armed conflict. Text and graphics or photographs can be downloaded onto your computer at no charge.


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