Presentation on theme: "VIMY RIDGE April 9th AN ANNUAL COMMEMORATION PROJECT By"— Presentation transcript:
1 VIMY RIDGE April 9th AN ANNUAL COMMEMORATION PROJECT By The Army Cadet League of Canada
2 COMMEMORATING VIMY RIDGE THE BIRTH OF CANADA AS A NATION APRIL 9TH, 1917THE ARMY CADET LEAGUE OF CANADATHE ROYAL CANADIAN ARMY CADETSTHE ROYAL CANADIAN LEGIONARMY NAVY AIR FORCE VETERANS IN CANADA (ANAVETS)THE VIMY FOUNDATIONMINISTER OF NATIONAL DEFENCEMINISTER OF VETERANS AFFAIRSMany organizations and federal departments support this project of the Army Cadet League of Canada.
3 Just to set the scene and to give credit to copied material. With images and quotes from“At Vimy Ridge” Canada’s Greatest World War 1 VictoryHugh BrewsterScholastic Canada Ltd.
4 At 5:30 AM, EASTER MONDAY, APRIL 9TH, 1917 IN A FREEZING RAIN, 100,000 CANADIAN BOYS, VIRTUALLY EVERY CANADIAN SOLDIER IN FRANCE, WAS IN FRONT OF VIMY RIDGE FORMED UP IN WHAT WAS CALLED, FOR THE FIRST TIME:“THE CANADIAN CORPS”The attack went in following one of the worst winters in recorded history in Europe and on a sheer slope of mud with machine gun fire coming from every direction. It must have been a horrible experience.
5 THE CANADIAN CORPS WAS COMPRISED OF FOUR DIVISIONS ALIGNED (FROM THE GERMAN VIEW) LEFT TO RIGHT.A Division is approximately 25,000 soldiers.ON THEIR SHOULDERS, COLOURED PATCHES IDENTIFIED THEIR DIVISION:These Divisional patches continued in use by the Canadian Army during WWII.THE 1ST Division Patch continued to be worn by Canadian Forces Europe into the mid 1970’s and soon will be worn again when the red patch will be used as a unit identification byspecial operations.1st Division(“Old Red Patch”)2nd Division(The Iron Second)3rd Division4th DivisionThese are the patches that Canadians soldiers have historically worn. On 19 May 2010, Chief of the Defence Staff, General Walt Natynczyk, announced that the Canadian Forces will once again stand up 1 Canadian Division at Kingston, Ontario. The role of 1 Canadian Division will be to provide the Canadian Forces with a rapidly deployable joint command and control capacity in order to allow for a comprehensive approach to operations. Taking the place of the CFJHQ, 1 CDN DIV HQ will absorb those returning staff from the war in Afghanistan to ensure the hard-won lessons there are not lost to future generations of soldiers.Headquarters 1 Canadian Division will be part of the Canadian Army administratively and will remain at Canadian Forces Base Kingston using existing infrastructure and base support. It is expected to reach full operational capability by Major General David Fraser, former Commandant of the Canadian Forces College in Toronto and the first Canadian commander of the Multi-National Brigade (Regional Command (South)) in Afghanistan, was designated as the first Commander of the newly reactivated 1 Canadian Division.
6 TO COMMEMORATE THE BATTLE, THE VIMY FOUNDATION HAS STRUCK A LAPEL PIN . NOTE THE DIVISIONAL PATCHES POSITIONED AS THEY WERE AT THE BATTLE FACING THE RIDGE. THE 1ST (RED) ON THE RIGHT OF THE CANADIAN ATTACK UP THE RIDGE.These pins are available from the Vimy Foundation web site or from the National Office of the Army Cadet League of Canada.
7 A GERMAN OFFICER CAPTURED BEFORE THE BATTLE OF VIMY BRAGGED: “You may be able to get to the top of Vimy Ridge, but I’ll tell you this: you’ll be able to take all the Canadians back in a row boat that get there”.IN PREVIOUS ASSAULTS, OVER 160,000 BRITISH AND FRENCH SOLDIERS HAD DIED AT VIMY TRYING TO TAKE IT.Vimy, of course, was only one part of the greater Battle of Arras, but Vimy Ridge was a key element in the offensive.Canadian soldiers returning from Vimy Ridge May 1917(Library & Archives Canada / PA
8 On Easter Saturday April 8th, 1917 Lt. William George McIntyre of the 29th (Vancouver) Battalion, 2nd Divisionwrote home to his mother in Clearwater, Manitoba:I hope not, but this may be a note of farewell, for we attack tomorrow morning. If this must be goodbye I must try to acknowledge the unrepayable debts I owe you for love and tenderness, encouragement and sympathy, and high ideals all through my life – you have been the best of mothers to us – and to ask forgiveness – I know it has been granted already – for the pain and trouble I have sometimes cost you. God bless you for all your goodness. I feel very cheery, and if my feelings are an index I should get through this alive, but one never knows.Lt. McIntyre was killed the next day on Vimy Ridge. He was 29 years old.His Mother received the letter two weeks after being informed of her son’s death.This certainly a sad letter, and due to the confusion of the times and the delays in the postal service it was not unusual for folks back home to receive letters from the dead. In the “War to end all wars”, Canada lost just short of 65,000 young men. That was almost 1% of the then population of 7,700,000 in Canada. Virtually every Canadian household had a personal loss.
9 3,598 BOYS FROM VIRTUALLY EVERY CANADIAN CITY AND TOWN LAY DEAD AT THE END OF THE BATTLE 10,602 OF THE BEST OF CANADA WERE BLEEDING ON VIMY RIDGE3,598 BOYS FROM VIRTUALLY EVERY CANADIAN CITY AND TOWN LAY DEADGERMAN LOSSES WERE WORSEIn the months leading up to the battle at the Canal du Nord, another 11,000 Canadians, many of whom had survived Vimy, would die. The time was a slaughterhouse for the Canadians. The official German medical war history listed 2,036,897 military war dead. British Imperial Forces lost 1,114,914 and the total allied deaths were 5,711,696 which included French losses of 1,397,800. Incredible numbers by today’s standards.
10 Canadians enter Mons, 11 Nov 1918 INSPITE OF TREMENDOUS LOSSES, AN AMAZING PRIDE EVOLVED IN THE SURVIVORS OF VIMY RIDGE FOR WHAT WAS A SINGULAR CANADIAN ACCOMPLISHMENT. NEVER AGAIN WOULD CANADIANS SERVE UNDER DIRECT BRITISH COMMAND.Canadian troops advance under shellfireFOLLOWING VIMY CAME THE START OF WHAT BECAME KNOWN AS CANADA’S HUNDRED DAYS. FROM 8 AUG TO 11 NOV 1918, THE END OF HOSTILITIES. THE CANADIANS PURSUED THE GERMAN ARMY TO MONS, AND AT ONE POINT ADVANCED 12 MILES IN 3 DAYS; UNHEARD OF AT THAT POINT IN THE WAR.Lt. Art Kyle, MC of the 87th Battalion went on to a career as a successful Customs Broker in Montreal Canada. He was quoted in 1965 referring to the birth of Canadian nationalism at Vimy Ridge. “After Vimy we felt that we had earned our spurs and in the months leading up to the armistice we felt we proved it. After, when we all returned to Canada and went back into business and politics we all fekt that we were not going to put up with that colonial crap anymore”.THIS PRIDE AND INDEPENDENCE TRANSFORMED ITSELF INTO CANADIAN NATIONALISM AND THE RETURNING SOLDIERS SAW CANADA IN A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT LIGHT AND NO LONGER AS A COLONY.CANADA CAME OF AGE ON VIMY RIDGE!Canadians enter Mons, 11 Nov 1918
11 THE ARMY CADET LEAGUE OF CANADA IS CHAMPIONING AN ANNUAL REMEMBRANCE OF THE BATTLE OF VIMY RIDGE EVERY APRIL BY ARMY CADETS, SIMILAR TO THE SEA CADETS’ BATTLE OF THE ATLANTIC AND THE AIR CADETS’ COMMEMORATION OF THE BATTLE OF BRITAINAlthough the Army Cadets intend to be the key players in this initiative we prefer to partner with veterans organizations such as the Royal Canadian Legion Branches all across Canada.
12 WHY SHOULD ARMY CADETS ADOPT THIS COMMEMORATION? TO STUDY A SIGNIFICANT EVENT IN CANADIAN HISTORYALMOST EVERY AFFILIATED UNIT HAS “VIMY” AS A BATTLE HONOURTO UNDERSTAND THE FUTILITY OF WARTO APPRECIATE THE CONTRIBUTION OF MODERN DAY VETERANSTO COMPREHEND THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE POPPYTO FOSTER PRIDE IN ARMY CADETS OF THEIR AFFILIATION WITH THE CANADIAN ARMY AND ITS ETHICS AND PRINCIPLESThe key for Army Cadets is not to study the set battles or the glory of the attack on Vimy Ridge, but to study the individuals and bring them back to like. There are too many tomb stones in Canadian cemeteries that say simply “A Canadian Soldier – Known unto God”.
13 What can Army Cadets do?Activity at a cadet corps can be as large as a parade in town in partnership with veterans’ organizations such as the Royal Canadian Legion Branch, the ANAVETS’ Unit or simply a cadet project to document the story of a Canadian soldier that took part in the action on Vimy Ridge.Each Cadet Corps can choose an activity that fits it resources and locale.
14 ACTIVITIES BY ARMY CADETS Organize a Parade with the Legion or ANAVETSGive a speech to a local service clubStart a class project at schoolLecture members of the affiliated unitPrepare a historical lecture for junior cadetsAddress members of the local Legion BranchStart a Facebook page with a “virtual parade”Tweet “Vimy” details from your cadet corps
15 RELATED OPPORTUNITIES: 1. Beaverbrook Scholarship 15 to 17 year olds apply on-line in November for study the following summer. This year’s qualifying essay:“How WWI Affected my Community”2. Encounters with Canada 125 students from all over Canada come to Ottawa for study of selected events and subjectsHand out the Beaverbrook poster or refer the audience to the web site by Googling Beaverbrook Scholarships or at
16 SUPPORT 1. The Army Cadet League site will feature SUPPORT 1. The Army Cadet League site will feature help suggestions and useful research tips on its VIMY page on the website2. Other available support materials: Posters Brochures Advertising in print mediaAn application has been made to Veterans Affairs Canada for $36,000 from the “Community Engagement Partnership Fund” to financially support this project.
17 VIMYTODAYFrom photographs taken in September Note the warning sign.
20 Vimy’s “lawn mowers” at work Vimy’s “lawn mowers” at work. Vimy is part of the only federal government that has a Shepherd on staff.
21 View of Douai Plain from Vimy Ridge - Today NOTE THE ROADPlease note the road in the bottom right.
22 View of Douai Plain from Vimy Ridge - 1917 Here is the same road in 1917, still in the hands of the German Army who are no doubt observing the Canadians.
23 IDEASHISTORICAL PROJECTSWe have some ideas or opportunities
24 IN …. CABARET - ROUGE BRITISH CEMETERY …Near Vimy Ridge
25 The grass is a special type that feels like a cushion much like a golf green. Its deadens sound.
26 ESTABLISHED IN 1916, CABERET-ROUGE CONTAINS THE GRAVES OF MANY CANADIANS . . . . INCLUDING LT. FREDERICK G. SCOTT, THE SON OF CANON SCOTT (1 DIV PADRE), AND A CLOSE FRIEND OF CON SMYTHE, THE FOUNDER OF THE TORONTO MAPLE LEAFSNorm Christie’s film series “For King & Empire”Canon Scott returned to Vimy to find and bury his son himself. A sad story.Con Smythe never forgot his friend and in many photographs of the Toronto Maple Leafs taken during the war you will see Con Smythe in a military uniform.
27 THERE IS A PATTERN HEREVIRTUALLY EVERY CANADIAN ARMY UNIT OF THE CANADIAN FORCES HAS VIMY AS A BATTLE HONOURTHERE ARE 3,598 POSSIBLE STORIES TO BE TOLD BY ARMY CADETS FROM VIMY RIDGE ALONE
28 Take a close look at these head stones. Wilfred and Olivier Chenier, brothers.Joined together; their regimental numbers are 813 and 814.They died together on Vimy Ridge, and now they lie together in Cabaret Rouge.There is a story here.
29 Entries in the book of remembrance at Cabaret Rouge cemetery Every Commonwealth Cemetery has a Book of remembrance, and you see here the page with the entry for the Chenier brothers. For some reason the name of their mother is not mentioned.
30 There is an army cadet corps in Buckingham, QC CC# 1573Corps de Cadets Bassin de la LièvreThe Army Cadet Corps in Buckingham, Québec could trace this story down.
31 87th Battalion Cenotaph on Vimy Ridge Dedication of the87th Battalion Cenotaph on Vimy RidgeThe 87th Battalion went up Vimy Ridge with almost 700 men and ended with only 280 on their feet on the top – a 60% casualty rate. No one would stand for that today. Fred Hannaford, then a Lieutenant, reported from the top of Vimy Ridge that he had only 12 men left from his infantry company and that he was the only surviving officer. He neede help, being surrounded on all sides by the Germans and taking heavy fire,Capt Fred Hannaford, MC and BarJoined as a Private in the 24TH Battalion at 19 years of ageSurvived all the great battles including Vimy RidgeDied as a Captain at Canal du Nord at 24 yearsone month before the war ended
32 The 87th Battalion is perpetuated by The Canadian Grenadier Guards who have 2 affiliated cadet corps: CC# and CC# 1979These cadet corps have a great amount of information to draw from.
33 The Royal New Brunswick Regiment ON THE PIMPLE AT VIMY RIDGE, JUST IN FRONT OF GIVENCHY WOOD, THERE IS AN ABANDONED CENOTAPH TO THE44TH BATTALION(1st Bn The Carleton Light Infantry)______________________The 44th Bn is perpetuated byThe Royal New Brunswick RegimentThere are a number of Army Cadet Corps in New BrunswickWhy was this monument “abandoned”?The New Brunswick cadets could join together to get more information on the abandoned monument of their affiliated unit.
34 MONUMENT CONSTRUCTED BY MEMBERS OF THE 44TH BATTALION AFTER THE BATTLE THE ABANDONED MONUMENT IN 1988
35 FINAL THOUGHTSVIMY PROVED TO BE THE TURNING POINT IN CANADA WHERE CANADA BECAME A MEMBER OF THE GREATER INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC SCENE AND EARNED A SEAT AT THE 1919 PEACE TALKS.THE MEN WHO FOUGHT THROUGH THE FIRST WORLD WAR EARNED THIS FOR CANADA. THEY INSPIRED THOUSANDS OF CANADIAN CITIZENS BOTH IN THE MILITARY AND IN CIVILIAN LIFE.IN HIS RECENT BOOK “LEADERSHIP” RICK HILLIER REFERS TO THIS AS “THE VIMY EFFECT”.
36 HILLIER GOES ON TO QUOTE A TALIBAN LEADER COMMANDER MULLAH HAJI MOHAMMED WHO WAS INTERVIEWED IN 2010.THE QUESTION WAS “ WHETHER FOREIGN SOLDIERS WERE ALL COWARDS?”“YES”, HE RESPONDED PREDICTABLY, “THEY ARE ALL COWARDS, AND WITHOUT THEIR MACHINES, THEIR PLANES, VEHICLES AND TECHNOLOGY, THEY WOULD NOT LAST A MONTH.” HE PAUSED. “ON THE OTHER HAND, YOU DO HAVE A FEW BRAVE INVADING SOLDIERS; FROM ALL THE INVADING COUNTRIES, THE CANADIAN SOLDIERS ARE THE MOST BRAVE”.THE VIMY EFFECT AT WORK TODAY IN CANADA’S SOLDIERS.
37 Reproduction of the 1937 Pilgrimage medal MOVING FORWARD:COMPLETE GRANT APPLICATION TO DVA (Done)ASSEMBLE SUPPORT MATERIALS (In Progress)CIRCULATE INFO TO ALL INVOLVED (Started)GET BUY-IN FROM LOCAL CIC OFFICERS (Ongoing)CONTACT LEGION BRANCHES (After 11 Nov)DO IT ACROSS CANADAON/AROUND APRIL 9TH 2011in partnership with VAC, the Legion and ANAVETSReproduction of the 1937 Pilgrimage medal
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