VIMY RIDGE COMMEMORATED
On April 9, 2022, Royal Canadian Legion Branch 270 Coldwater President, Comrade Norm Marion, laid a wreath at the Cenotaph in memory of those Canadian soldiers who fought – and too many who died – at the Battle of Vimy Ridge on that day in 1917. The flags in front of the Legion building were lowered to half-mast for the day to mark the anniversary of the battle. Branches of the Royal Canadian Legion across the country also commemorate the battle in this manner.
The battle of Vimy Ridge is significant for Canada as for the first time, four Canadian army divisions (more than 100,000 men) fought side by side as a Canadian Corps, and came out victorious.
While Canadians suffered heavy casualties during the operation, they were successful in reaching and taking their heavily defended objectives on time, leaving the Allies in control of the high ground overlooking enemy positions. Together, the Canadian and British Corps had captured more ground, prisoners and artillery pieces than any previous British offensive of the war. But there was a cost to the battlefield victory. By the end of the battle, Canadians had suffered 10,600 casualties, 3,600 of them killed.
Two soldiers from Coldwater, Private Andrew Durnford and George Hill-Maracle, were killed in action during the battle, and four more were killed within a few weeks in the ensuing fighting over the Vimy area. We will remember them.
With Coldwater Branch members Wayne Tutt, Cheryll Barr, and Marg Murphy standing at the back, Branch President Norm Marion lays a wreath in memory of the soldiers who fought and died at Vimy Ridge, 105 years ago. (Photo by Rick Morse)