War sacrifice of Canadian soldiers praised

Share

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Britain's Prince Harry, right, stand during the commemorations of the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge at the WWI Canadian National Vimy Memorial in Vimy, France, Sunday, April 9, 2017.

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will be joined at the ceremony by French President Francois Hollande. Vimy School was build in 1930 to commemorate those courageous men who fought and gave their lives at Vimy Ridge so that we can preserve the freedom and democracy that we all enjoy today.

Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon has said the "power of Allied force" is as relevant today as it was in 1917, as world leaders gathered to mark the centenary of a defining First World War battle. Three thousand, five hundred and ninety-eight Canadians were killed in the fighting.

He says it took a toll on Canadian soldiers. Almost 3600 Canadian soldiers died over the four brutal days of the battle, and over 7000 were wounded.

It was the first time different Canadian military divisions had fought together under one command.

Millions of Canadians will pause and bow their heads today as they mark the 100th anniversary of one of the most transformative events in their country's history - the Battle of Vimy Ridge.

More news: UK Parliament approves early general election

In 1936, as Canadians and many others around the world watched the Vimy monument's unveiling, retired brigadier-general Alexander Ross famously intoned that the battle had marked "the birth of a nation".

On Sunday morning, millions of Canadians will stop for a moment to remember those lost during the Battle of Vimy Ridge.

He said: "It's the most unbelievable feeling when you walk up to the Vimy site and you see the bomb craters that are still here".

By the end of the First World War, Canada-a country of fewer than eight million people-had more than 650,000 men and women serving in uniform.

The battle across a 7km (4.3-mile) ridge began in heavy snow and sleet and lasted four days. In total, there were 1,325 casualties among members of the CAMC over the course of the First World War. And we must believe it: "Never again". Clapperton. "As a country, we came together". People of many languages and backgrounds, representing every region in Canada, fought for the values we hold so dear: freedom, democracy, and peace.

Share