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Monday, May 20, 2024
Exploring History: 107th anniversary of Vimy Ridge, April 9-12, 1917

Many historians consider the Canadian victory at Vimy Ridge to be a defining moment for our country. The Canadian Corps was ordered to seize Vimy Ridge in northern France, which was heavily fortified by enemy troops. Previous French and British attempts on the ridge had failed, but with careful planning and training, four divisions of Canadian troops (15,000 soldiers) captured it in three days. However, it was victory that came at a heavy cost: 3,598 Canadians were killed and another 7,000 wounded. The battle became a symbol for the sacrifice of our young Dominion. In 1922, the French government ceded to Canada in perpetuity 91 hectares at the top of the ridge. In 1936, the stunning Vimy Memorial (featured here), designed by artist Walter S. Allward, was unveiled as a tribute to Canadian soldiers killed, and without a grave, in France.

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