Wednesday April 13, 2011
Chilliwack vets march for lives lost almost 100-years earlier
It's been 94-years since the Vimy Ridge battle took place. Just under 4,000 Canadians never made it home from one of WW1's biggest fights.
On Saturday, veterans from every branch of the military in Chilliwack marched around the Vedder Cenotaph in memory of the lives lost April 9-12 in 1917.
The ridge was occupied by the Germans in 1914 and the battle took place between April 9 and 12 and it was the objective of the Canadian troops to take control of the German-held ground higher up along an escarpment called Vimy Ridge.
After much planning by British and Canadian commanders, the attack finally happened in 1917 and it was the first time in the war that four Canadian divisions were utilized which were under command of Lieutenant-General Sir Julian Byng.
The Canadians were under-equipped and lacked the firepower necessary to take the ridge so the British 5th Artillery stepped in to assist deploying various mortar and artillery batteries.
Canadian soldiers, supported by a barrage of howitzers, took most of the ridge on the first day of the operation but sustained heavy loss of life. But this sent the Germans into full retreat but the damage was done and the Canadian corps suffered 10,602 casualties: 3,598 killed and 7,004 wounded.
References from Wikipedia. See more photos below.
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