04.09.2017 07:33 AM

100 years ago today: Vimy

My son is at Vimy today with his St Mike’s classmates – and I know he will always remember the significance of it. More than 3,500 Canadians killed, more than 7,000 wounded. But the Canadians drove out the German Sixth Army, and – as some say – Canada itself came of age. 

I didn’t want to post a picture of the monument. I wanted a picture of the men who fought there, because I think that is what Vimy Ridge is about. 


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    Eric Weiss says:

    The monument is beautiful. And like many I believe it was a significant moment in Canada seeing itself as more than an extension of the British empire in many ways. But WWI was ridiculous conflict between empires that did nothing but see the poor and working class get sent to die for an aristocracy that were waning. But at least back then, a good number of the rich assholes actually fought, or sent their kids to fight for “God, King and Country”. Unlike now.

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    Pipes says:

    My Great Grandfather was there-Canadian Expeditionary Force, 48th Highlanders, 3rd battalion. He never spoke of it. I have the bayonet he carried. Incompressible destruction and suffering. God lads all.

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    Ronald O'Dowd says:


    My great-uncles, Donald and Richard Boulanger were gassed in that War. Donald, quite remarkably, was able to live with it. No so Richard, who returned to be the village postmaster – – and drink for the rest of his life.

    Those who serve are far better men and women than I could ever hope to be.

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    dave constable says:

    A week or so ago I was browsing on the on line Canadian archives from WWI. I punched in my surname to see what I could find in the recruiting pages. I found quite a few names, with their one page sign up (attestation) paper, and the page containing the okay by a doctor that they were fit for service. I looked at a dozen or so.
    Then I went to the war dead pages, punched in my surname, and began to read. One after the other, every name I read on the first list was there, having lost his life ‘for king and country.’

    1919…and ‘Never again!’ Yeah, sure!

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      Kevin says:

      “We haven’t learned a thing, have we?” (Willie McGregor, 94, WWII veteran, interviewed by Joe O’Connor, National Post, Vimy, April 9, 2017).

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        Pipes says:

        Well, yes we have learned. We now know who to kill in greater numbers and how to economize. I guess ‘we’ just learned the wrong stuff.

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    JamesHalifax says:

    My grandfather was at Vimy Ridge (He was 16) and ended up in a coma for a week due to injury. After he recovered from a coma, he then went on to some of the most brutal and famous battles in the war, but he made it home alive. When he was discharged, he received $16, multiple scars, hearing loss, and a free ride back home to Canada; career over at the ripe old age of 20. Years later, when the 2nd world war started, three of his sons joined, and helped liberate Europe. All three boys were at Juno, and spent the rest of the war in Europe. They all came home unharmed, with the exception of my uncle Walt who lost his left ear and a good portion of his cheek. In fact, I liked to joke that this injury started the trend of white men having afro’s, as this was the only hair style that covered his wounds. When the boys came home, they were welcomed by my dad, who was 9 years old when the war ended.

    My grandfather was a cook at a lumber camp after his return from the war, my uncles were truck drivers, masons, and carpenters. None of them wrote books, were famous, or are mentioned in any history books; but you can see their names and war records at the National Archives buildings in Ottawa. They are all gone now, but at one time you could be standing beside them at the bus stop, you could watch them pass you by while they were driving a truck, they could have been pounding nails while they built your house, or they could be tuck-pointing your chimney. They were the hero’s amongst us, but no one ever noticed them. But they deserve our thanks.

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