Vimy Ridge

Discussion in 'Prewar' started by U311reasearcher, Apr 5, 2009.

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  1. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    U311reasearcher
    My great-grandfather fought in WW1, not sure if he was at Vimy, but I do know he suffered from a gas attack in the trenches in France and was blinded for life.

    Aren't Canadian WW1 Service Records on-line?
    You could look them up & then you'd know if he was there or not.
     
  2. CROONAERT

    CROONAERT Ipsissimus

    It's just the attestation papers, Owen. i think that you've to apply for the actual service records.

    Dave.
     
  3. Ashman2

    Ashman2 Junior Member

    I'm new so forgive me if I make a mistake. I also visited the beautiful memorial at Vimy Ridge and it always amazed me that, although the Germans, and supposedly Hitler, visited it they never destroyed it. Was it just respect for a memorial to fellow soldiers?
     
  4. militarycross

    militarycross Very Senior Member

    I seem to remember reading that the Corporal had an appreciation for architecture which is why he didn't trash Paris or the Vimy Memorial.

    He was there as this 1940 photo capture. I understand that it was said that the monument was destroyed simply as a ploy to get the ire of the Canadian troops inflamed. I will see if I can find a photo that a friend took from his Dak as he flew over in '44. Clearly from the image, the monument stand intact.

    Welcome to the forum Ashman2.

    cheers,
    phil
     

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  5. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

    I seem to remember reading that the Corporal had an appreciation for architecture which is why he didn't trash Paris or the Vimy Memorial.



    Did Hitler ever face Canadian troops during WW1?
     
  6. RJL

    RJL Senior Member

    Hi. Great thread. Thanks for sharing the pics. The Canadian Corps and Vimy have a place close to my heart. I had a G-G-Uncle killed in action on 9th April 1917. He is remembered on the Arras Road Memorial in Nine Elms Military Cemetery, Thelus.
     
  7. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Called in at Vimy on Saturday on the way back from holiday, last time I was there was November 1995.

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  8. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

    A very significant day in the life of a young country!

    The Battle of Vimy Ridge was a military engagement fought as part of the Battle of Arras, in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region of France, during the First World War. The main combatants were the Canadian Corps against three divisions of the German Sixth Army. The battle, which took place from 9 April to 12 April 1917, was part of the opening phase of the British-led Battle of Arras, a diversionary attack for the French Nivelle Offensive.
    The objective of the Canadian Corps was to take control of the German-held high ground along an escarpment at the northernmost end of the Arras Offensive. This would ensure that the southern flank could advance without suffering German enfilade fire. Supported by a creeping barrage, the Canadian Corps captured most of the ridge during the first day of the attack. The town of Thélus fell during the second day of the attack, as did the crest of the ridge once the Canadian Corps overcame a salient of considerable German resistance. The final objective, a fortified knoll located outside the town of Givenchy-en-Gohelle, fell to the Canadian Corps on 12 April. The German forces then retreated to the OppyMéricourt line.
    Historians attribute the success of the Canadian Corps in capturing the ridge to a mixture of technical and tactical innovation, meticulous planning, powerful artillery support, and extensive training, as well as the failure of the German Sixth Army to properly apply the German defensive doctrine. The battle was the first occasion when all four divisions of the Canadian Expeditionary Force participated in a battle together, and thus became a Canadian nationalistic symbol of achievement and sacrifice. A 250-acre (100 ha) portion of the former battleground now serves as a preserved memorial park and site of the Canadian National Vimy Memorial.[5]

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  9. militarycross

    militarycross Very Senior Member

    :poppy:Lest we forget:poppy:

    Remembering 39 men from our community named on the Memorial.

    DArche & Dark who died on this day.
     
  10. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    And the Vimy spirit was also evident in the many battles of the 1st and 5th Divisons in Italy as Tank support to the 1st Div - I often thought how devil may care the lads were - no matter the situation and the casualties of which there were nearly 6000 - I often think that just three V.C.'s in that campaign was way too low for what many did - and I think of "Smokey" Smith V.C. often and his lack of fear in facing up to three Panther PZ V's and more than 50 Pg"s - and still walking away - no doubt with a grin all over his face ! Or Stan Scislowski of the Perth's scrounging away at every opportunity - MacDonald of Montreal - the medic from "A" company Seaforths who always seemed to be at my side when l opened the turret. Great men all and carried the same spirit of Vimy Ridge - on Coriano Ridge !

    Cheers
    Cheers
     
  11. Oldman

    Oldman Very Senior Member

    A defining moment in Canadian military history and the young nation of Canada, a true feat of arms.

    Least we Forget
     
  12. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

     
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  13. Deacs

    Deacs Well i am from Cumbria. Patron

    Thanks for sharing Tim a very nice video.

    Remembering :poppy:

    Mike
     
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  14. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

    Vimy Ridge
    April 9th, 1917


    Thain Wendell MacDowell VC DSO (Sept.16 1890- March 28 1960) was a Canadian recipient of the Victoria Cross.

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    Date of Action: 9 April 1917
    Place of Action: Vimy Ridge, France
    Rank: Captain
    Regiment: 38th Infantry Regiment, Canadian Expeditionary Force

    Thain Wendell MacDowell was born on 16 September 1890 in Quebec, Canada. After graduating from university, he enlisted and served with the 38th Infantry Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force. In 1916, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for his actions during the Battle of the Somme.

    Captain MacDowell was awarded the Victoria Cross on the day that the Canadian Corps attacked and captured Vimy Ridge in France, 9 April 1917. His citation reads:
    “For most conspicuous bravery and indomitable resolution in face of heavy machine gun and shell fire. By his initiative and courage this officer, with the assistance of two runners, was enabled in the face of great difficulties, to capture two machine guns, besides two officers and seventy-five men. Although wounded in the hand, he continued for five days to hold the position gained, in spite of heavy shell fire, until eventually relieved by his battalion. By his bravery and prompt action he undoubtedly succeeded in rounding up a very strong enemy machine post.”

    After the war MacDowell returned to Canada, and later achieved the rank of Lieutenant colonel. He worked in several roles, including mining companies and between 1923 to 1929 served as private secretary to the Minister of Defence. He died in the Bahamas in 1960, and is buried at Oakland Cemetery, Brockville. There is a memorial plaque in his honour at Maitland, Ontario.
     
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