Monday, March 13, 2017

Canada celebrates 100th anniversary of Vimy

On April 9, 2017 Canada will honour the sacrifices made during the First World War (WW 1) as they mark the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Vimy.

On Easter Monday, April 9, 1917 the Canadian Corps made up of four Canadian Infantry Divisions was brought together for the first time during the war as a fighting force. At 05:30 hrs that morning, every artillery at the disposal of the Canadian Corps began firing and the ground attack began led by the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Divisions. The weather was cold. It later changed to sleet and snow. By nightfall on April 12, 1917 the Canadian Corps was in firm control of the Vimy ridge. The Canadian Corps had suffered 10, 602 casualties: 3,598 were killed and 7,004 were wounded. Four Canadians received the Victoria Cross in recognition of their valour and bravery in battle.

This battle is commonly highlighted in Canada as a turning point in Canadian history, where the four Canadian Army divisions were brought together under a single command. The impressive victory is often cited as the beginning of Canada's evolution from Dominion to an independent nation.

A 100-hectare (250 acres) of the former battleground has been ceded by France to Canada to host a memorial park and the site of the Canadian National Vimy Memorial which is the largest and principal overseas war memorial.

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