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More than 500 cadets and Royal Canadian Legion members came to the Cloverdale cenotaph on April 10 to remember Canadian soldiers who fought and died in the Battle of Vimy Ridge in 1917.
Cadets and officers from the 2277 Seaforth Highlanders Royal Canadian Army Cadets from Surrey, the Fraser Valley and Vancouver took part in the event.
“Now, nearly 100 years since the anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, there are no combat veterans left from the First World War,” said Capt. Mark Iredale, commanding officer of the 2277 Seaforth Highlanders in Langley. “An important part of the cadet program is to educate youth about Canadian military history.”
Canadian soldiers accomplished what was thought impossible by the British and French forces – capturing a heavily fortified ridge in France located 175 kilometres north of Paris held by German soldiers.
Machine gun nests, heavy artillery and three rows of trenches lay in their path. Between April 9-12, 1917, the Canadians braved shell bombardment and machine gun fire to take the ridge.
Their victory came at a brutal cost. Of the 100,000 who fought, 3,598 soldiers were killed, and another 7,104 wounded. Thousands more were missing and presumed dead.
– with files from Jennifer Lang