A tree to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge was planted in Francis Park in Surrey on Thursday.
The oak tree is a direct descendent of one that was destroyed during the artillery bombardment at the battle.
“During the battle… all of the trees were destroyed,” said Fleetwood-Port Kells MP Ken Hardie. “On the way up, a Canadian officer named Lt. Leslie Miller picked up acorns and sent them back home to Scarborough.”
The saplings of the 10 oak trees that Miller planted on his Ontario farm were meant to be sent to France in honour of the 100th anniversary of Vimy Ridge. But that plan fell through.
“The saplings all of a sudden didn’t have a home,” said Hardie. “I heard about this so I got my hands on one and brought it here.”
Indus Media Foundation managing director Steven Purewal spoke about the sacrifice that Punjabi troops had made in both World Wars.
“In the end, more Indians than Canadians would die in World War I,” said Purewal. “What makes this history remarkable is the spirit in which these sacrifices were made. They did their duty despite the ugly discrimination the Punjabis faced.”
WATCH: Fleetwood-Port Kells MP Ken Hardie describes the importance of Surrey’s newest oak tree:
HAPPENING NOW: A tree planting ceremony to honour the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge is taking place in Fleetwood.
Posted by Surrey Now-Leader Newspaper on Thursday, May 25, 2017