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World War I Project – April 2017

Europe-Map-2017-Vimy

Vimy – April 9, 1917: What Every Canadian Should Know

We have all heard the name Vimy but most Canadians know very little about it. Here are the facts that every Canadian should know:

The Location

Vimy is in northern France. It is about 270 Km north of Paris near the Belgian border. It is a land of rolling hills with the peak only 145 meters high.

The Situation

At the start of the War, German troops advanced into France and captured Vimy Ridge. They dug in and fortified the hills with machine guns, artillery, and a strategic view of the surrounding area. The British and French Armies attacked 3 times but failed to drive them out. The Canadian Expeditionary Force was assigned this task – the first time all four Division of the Canadian Army fought together as a team.

The Preparation

For months before the attack the Canadian soldiers were drilled and shown detailed maps of the area so each man knew the objectives and what he had to do. Miles of tunnels were dug to bring men, supplies and ammunition to the front lines underground without being seen. The Artillery was precisely targeted on the location of the German trenches. Many of our soldiers from Hants County were there with the 25th Battalion Nova Scotia Rifles, the 85th Battalion Nova Scotia Highlanders, and the Canadian Field Artillery. (Most soldiers from the 112th Battalion (based in Windsor, NS) had been transferred to these front-line units).

The Battle: April 9, 1917

The attack started at 5:30 AM on Monday April 9, 1917; with a heavy bombardment of artillery on the German front lines. A new tactic was used called a rolling barrage – the Artillery would target the first line of trenches, then pause and raise their aim by 100 meters and lay down another heavy bombardment on the next trench while the troops advanced and then repeat the process step by step. The fighting lasted for 3 days until the entire area was captured and secured.

The Results

There were over 10,000 casualties but it was a turning point in the War. Canada was recognized as a Nation; ready to do her part to secure peace and democracy in the world.


Special Events

The following 2017 events are planned to commemorate the Battle of Vimy Ridge:

  • April 8: article on the Battle of Vimy Ridge (by John Orr) in the Chronicle Herald.
  • April 8: review of Tim Cook’s new book,Vimy: The Battle and the Legend (review by John Orr) in the Chronicle Herald.
  • April 8-12: Vimy Days at the Halifax Citadel and the Army Museum, free admission
  • April 9 2-4 PM: 36 Canadian Brigade Group Band Vimy 100 concert at the Halifax Central Library
  • April 9: Parade at Halifax Citadel starting at 1030 AM (?)

The West Hants Historical Society salutes our Hants County Soldiers who fought at Vimy and honors the following men who died one hundred years ago:

Anthony, Gilbert Frederick

Regimental No.    733098

Pte. Gilbert Frederick Anthony was born in Liverpool, England on July 13, 1892. He was working as a Woodsman in Walton. He volunteered for service in Windsor on December 6, 1915. He assigned to the 112th and then transferred to the 25th Battalion. He was killed in action in France on April 27, 1917. His next of kin was his Father, John Anthony residing in Walton. He is buried in Wimereux Cemetery.

Brown, Frederick

Regimental No.    733016

Pte Frederick Brown was born in Cheverie on November 13, 1886. He was working as a Quarryman. He volunteered for service in Windsor on December 4, 1915. He was assigned to the 112th and then transferred to the 25th Battalion. He was killed in action in France on April 9, 1917. His next of kin was his Father, Issac Brown residing in Kempt. He is buried in Aubigny Communal Cemetery Extension, Pas de Calais, France.

Churchill, Alfred Snow

Regimental No.    Officer

Lt Alfred Snow Churchill was born in Hantsport on February 21, 1895. He was working as a Banker. He volunteered for service in Valcartier on June 19, 1915. He was assigned to the 40th Battalion and then transferred to the Royal Cdn Regiment (RCR). He was killed in action in France on April 9, 1917. His next of kin was his Mother, Mrs. Ezra Churchill residing in Windsor. He is buried in Ecoivres Military Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France.

Fogarty, Murray James

Regimental No.    70280

Pte Murray James Fogarty was born in Windsor on April 26, 1896. He was working as a Seaman. He volunteered for service in St John NB on May 25, 1915 and was assigned to the 26th Battalion. He was wounded in Belgium in 1915 and sent home. He passed away on April 3, 1917. His next of kin was his Father, Harry Fogarty residing in St John NB. He is buried in St. Croix Cemetery.

Gass, Blanchard Victor

Regimental No.    69064

LCpl Blanchard Victor Gass was born in Shubenacadie on August 7, 1897. He was a student when he volunteered for service in Halifax on November 10, 1915. He was assigned to the 85th Battalion. He was killed in action in France on March 27, 1917. His next of kin was his Father, Robert Gass residing in Shubenacadie. He is buried in Canadian Cemetery No. 2, Neuville-St. Vaast, Pas de Calais, France. Note, his sister Clare, and 3 brothers – Gerald, Cyril, and Athelstan – served in the war and returned home safely.

Gratto, Henry Edwin

Regimental No.    715029

Pte Henry Edwin Gratto was born in Shubenacadie on February 11, 1891. He was working as a Laborer. He volunteered for service in Truro on November 26, 1915. He was assigned to the 106th Battalion and later transferred to the 26th Battalion. He was killed in action in France on April 9, 1917. His next of kin was his Father, Earnest Gratto residing in Truro. He is buried in Lichfield Crater Thelus, France.

Green, Robert Henry

Regimental No.    488901

Pte Robert Henry Green was born in Nine Mile River on July 15, 1896. He was working as a Laborer. He volunteered for service in Windsor on February 28, 1916 and was assigned to the 14th Battalion. He was killed in action in France on April 12, 1917. His next of kin was his Father, Robert Green residing in Lantz. He is buried in Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery, Souchez, Pas de Calais, France.

Kilcup, Hupert Landsdown

Regimental No.    832135

Pte Hupert Landsdown Kilcup was born in Windsor on April 2, 1886. He was working as a Stove Fitter. He volunteered for service in Sackville NB on January 14, 1916 and was assigned to the 145th Battalion. He was killed in action in France on April 9, 1917. His next of kin was his Father, Walter Kilcup residing in Windsor. His Name is remembered at Vimy Memorial, Pas de Calais, France.

Lingard, Andersen

Regimental No.    733070

Pte. Andersen Lingard was born in Moose Brook on December 26, 1895. He was working as a Farmer. He volunteered for service in Windsor on December 1, 1915. He was assigned to the 112th and later transferred to the 25th Battalion. He was killed in action in France on April 9, 1917. His next of kin was his Father, John N Lingard residing in Moose Brook. His Name is remembered at Vimy Memorial, Pas de Calais, France.

Maloney, Peter

Regimental No.    902480

Pte. Peter Maloney was born in Shubenacadie on August 23, 1892. He was working as a Lumberman. He volunteered for service in Truro on May 19, 1916. He was assigned to the 193rd Btn and then transferred to the 42nd Battalion. He was killed in action in France on April 9, 1917. His next of kin was his Father, Thomas Maloney residing in Shubenacadie. He is buried in La Chaudiere Military Cemetery, Vimy, France.

McKay, Harold Earnest

Regimental No.    901114

Pte. Harold Earnest McKay was born in Newport on May 8, 1897. He was working as a Student. He volunteered for service in Truro on March 10, 1916. He was assigned to the 193rd and later transferred to the 25th Battalion. He was killed in action in France on April 9, 1917. His next of kin was his Parents, Joseph & Laura McKay residing in Newport. His Name is remembered at Vimy Memorial, Pas de Calais, France.

Robinson, Levi

Regimental No.    469302

Pte Levi Robinson was born in Maitland on May 8, 1884. He was working as a Laborer. He volunteered for service in Sussex NB on August 30, 1915. He was assigned to the 64th Battalion and later transferred to the 24th Battalion. He was killed in action in France on April 9, 1917. His next of kin was his Mother, Mary Robinson residing in Hartville Hants County. His Name is remembered at Vimy Memorial, Pas de Calais, France.

Wilson, George Aubrey

Regimental No.    148739

Pte. George Aubrey Wilson was born in Windsor on November 6, 1883. He was working as a Farmer. He volunteered for service in Winnipeg on February 16, 1916 and was assigned to the 78th Battalion. He was killed in action in France on April 9, 1917. His next of kin was his Parents, Joseph & Catherine Wilson residing in Jansen Sask. His Name is remembered at Vimy Memorial, Pas de Calais, France.

westhants
westhants
The West Hants Historical Society is a non-profit organization based in Windsor, NS and serving the Avon area. The WHHS has been in operation since 1973, and operates a Museum, genealogy department and the national historic site of Fort Edward in Windsor, NS.

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