Canada’s Road to Nationhood
Ottawa, ON - January 27, 2017
This year is the 100-year Commemoration of the WWI Battle of Vimy Ridge. Canada entered the Great War as a colony and by its end, was on the road to nationhood.
To many Canadians, Vimy Ridge is the battleground where Canada came of age as a nation. During four days in April 1917, Canadian troops did what no others had done before – they took Vimy Ridge – and from there to the end of WWI, Canada never lost a fight.
After Vimy, there was the Battle of Hill 70 (Aug. 15-25) where the Canadian Corps went up against five divisions of the German 6th Army, the third Battle of Ypres and Passchendaele (Oct-Nov), and numerous other smaller engagements. In each action, our troops prevailed.
Although Newfoundland didn’t enter Confederation until 1949, Canadians and Newfoundlanders were joined in purpose in WWI. After suffering severe losses at Beaumont-Hamel on July 1, 1916, the Newfoundland Regiment fought valiantly throughout 1917 and distinguished itself at Le Transloy 100-years ago today (Jan 27), at Sailly-Saillisel (Mar 2-3) and at Monchy-le-Preux (Apr 14) among others. By the end of the year, King George V bestowed upon the Regiment the title ‘Royal’ – an award that no other British Regiment earned during WWI.
This year, I want to pay tribute to that time and I hope you will join me in honouring this defining era of our history. As Veterans, let us recognize the sacrifices of those who served before us and of their families. Let us also pay tribute to and share the stories of our 24 WWI Victoria Cross winners. Subscribe to get our blogs emailed to you or follow us on Facebook and Twitter as we post the photos and biographies of the Victoria Cross recipients throughout the year, and links to additional information on their stories of courage.
So let’s begin at Le Transloy where at 5:30 AM the Allied artillery opened fire signaling the commencement of the battle and the Newfoundland Regiment joined the foray…
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