Author Topic: Vimy  (Read 23516 times)

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Offline FascistLibertarian

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Re: DNA solves mystery of Vimy Ridge soldier
« Reply #25 on: March 23, 2007, 01:24:06 »
3,598 Canadians :salute:
We will remember them

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Re: DNA solves mystery of Vimy Ridge soldier
« Reply #26 on: March 23, 2007, 04:59:32 »
Another mystery solved after almost 90 years. A family who only knew their relative on a faded photo, now has the questions answered, and he can now be buried in a marked grave.

I do beleive Canada has about 11,000 ' Defence personnel' with no known grave from the Great War.


Regards from Kuwait,

Wes
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Offline FascistLibertarian

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Re: Why does Vimy get all the attention?
« Reply #27 on: March 23, 2007, 10:25:27 »
http://jam.canoe.ca/Television/2007/03/22/3806335-cp.html

"Vimy Ridge: Heaven to Hell" airs Monday night on History Television at 8 p.m. ET.

Should be a good watch :)


Offline AJFitzpatrick

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Re: DNA solves mystery of Vimy Ridge soldier
« Reply #28 on: March 23, 2007, 10:55:34 »
Just a thought question

How many unidentified burials are there and how does it to compare to the number with no known grave?
How many are left to find?

Offline FascistLibertarian

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Re: DNA solves mystery of Vimy Ridge soldier
« Reply #29 on: March 23, 2007, 14:25:51 »
I have no idea about the numbers.
But from the Canadian graveyards I have seen in France there are ALOT of graves that say something like "a soldier of the great war" or "A Canadian Soldier of the 1939-45 War".
As well who knows how much is buried in each grave.

Offline smitty66

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Re: DNA solves mystery of Vimy Ridge soldier
« Reply #30 on: March 23, 2007, 14:53:28 »
The Commwealth War Graves Commission says the Numbers are as follows;

WW1 Identified Burials and Cremations - 45,528
         Commemorated on Memorials to the Missing - 19,514 (minus 1 now)

WW2 Identified Burials and Cremations - 37,305
         Commemorated on Memorials to the Missing - 8,011

Source: Commwealth War Graves Commission Annual Report 1986-87
 The numbers may have changed since then.

Offline 3rd Herd

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Re: DNA solves mystery of Vimy Ridge soldier
« Reply #31 on: March 23, 2007, 16:10:31 »
I have no idea about the numbers.
But from the Canadian graveyards I have seen in France there are ALOT of graves that say something like "a soldier of the great war" or "A Canadian Soldier of the 1939-45 War".
As well who knows how much is buried in each grave.

In some cases there is nothing in the grave. Though beginning with the First World War British and then Commonwealth philosophy changed in that every attempt was made to provide each departed soldier with his own place of permanent rest. Inspite of this noble effort there are problems ranging from the results of a direct hit by an artillery shell in which case there are physically no remains to the remains being submerged in the mud and hence being unlocated. Further reasoning is the use of mass graves to get the bodies out of the way to enhance a newly one position, or the entanglement of several various bodies due to the continuing cycle of attack, counter attack. This was often occurring circumstance in modern warfare and a prime example is the research of Russian author Nina Tumarkin who "with her own hands, unearthed the bones of some of the estimated two to three million Soviet soldiers killed in World War II but never properly buried."

Additonal problems are exemplified by "the burials of our fallen soldiers differed according to the native customs in a given locality. When an airplane crashed near the villages of natives, the bodies were always accorded proper burial. In some cases this meant cremation,in others simple interment."(Snow) Other problems are illuminated by  in that during the Korean War "combat troops could hardly be spared to dig graves, and it was almost impossible to obtain civilian labor, due to the abandonment of towns and villages by fleeing refugees anxious to escape from the battle area."(Cook) Other problems identified by Cook are as follows "because of the exigencies of battle  remains were hastily interred in foxholes, shell holes, or any area of soft earth which permitted a quick burial. These isolated graves were not always marked, and, even in cases where crude markers were erected, many were lost through the action of the elements or destroyed in battle. Still other markers were removed by natives or the enemy."  While  Pavel L. Ivanov states "however historically, until recently, the success in identifying war dead was not the question of the highest priority for the country, and no special resources and assets have been devoted to this endeavor."


Source:

Cook, John C. LTC  Q.M.C. "Graves Registration in the Korean Conflict" The Quartermaster Review March-April 1953

Ivanov, Pavel L. "Identification of Human Decomposed Remains Using the STR Systems: Effect on Typing Results'. Center for Forensic Medical Expertize, Ministry of Health; Moscow, Russia.

SNOW,CHARLES E. "THE IDENTIFICATION OF THE UNKNOWN WAR DEAD", American Journal of Physical Anthropology, Volume 6, Issue 3 (p 323-328

Tumarkin, Nina. The Living & the Dead: The Rise and Fall of the Cult of World War II in Russia  . 1994:Basic Books

edit: grammer clean up
« Last Edit: March 23, 2007, 18:29:54 by 3rd Herd »
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Offline Frankex

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Speeches at the 90th anniversary of Vimy Ridge
« Reply #32 on: April 22, 2007, 11:18:59 »
so what speech would you vote nomber 1

if you cant decide you can vote for all 3.




The Queen's Speech

Ladies and gentleman, in any national story there are moments and places, sometimes far from home, which in retrospect can be seen as fixed points about which the course of history turns; moments which distinguish that nation forever. Those who seek the foundations of Canada's distinction would do well to begin here at Vimy.

Until this day 90 years ago, Vimy Ridge had been impregnable; a lesson learned at terrible cost to the armies of France and Britain. For the Allies, this ridge had become a symbol of futility and despair. It was against this forbidding challenge that the four divisions of the Canadian Corps were brought together as a single army for the first time.

In a matter of a few hours, on this cold and inclement Easter Monday morning, the Canadians became masters of the ridge and accomplished what many had thought impossible. Their victory was the fruit not only of an ingenious battle plan drawn up by Canadian commanders, but especially of courage and determination with which Canadian soldiers carried out their mission.

No fewer than four Canadians were awarded the Victoria Cross for conspicuous bravery during the battle, though it could easily be said that every soldier in the field demonstrated conspicuous bravery, such was the verve of the Canadian attack. It was a stunning victory. More, in capturing this formidable objective, the Canadian Corps transformed Vimy Ridge from a symbol of despair into a source of inspiration. After two-and-a-half years of deadly stalemate, it now seemed possible that the Allies would prevail and peace might one day be restored.

Here on this hallowed ground, where so much has been sacrificed, we're commemorating their courage and achievement. Their victory gave more than hope, it allowed Canada, which deserved it so much, to take its place on the world stage as a proud, sovereign nation, strong and free. Canada's commemorative monument at Vimy shows Canada's great strength and its commitment to freedom and also shows the deep solidarity that links Canada and France.

And lastly, it certainly shows the bravery, courage and sacrifice of the courageous Canadians that inspired a young nation to become a great nation.

To their eternal remembrance, to those who have recently lost their lives in Afghanistan, to Canada, and to all who would serve the cause of freedom, I rededicate this magnificently restored memorial.







The Prime Minister Of Canada Stephen Harper' Speech


Your Majesty, Mr. Prime Minister of the Republic of France, distinguished guests, veterans, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you all for honouring us with your presence today.


We Canadians here today are a long way from home but there may be no place on Earth that makes us feel more Canadian, because we sense all around us the presence of our ancestors.


If we close our eyes we can see them, dressed in their olive khaki uniforms, rifles slung over their shoulders, the distinct wide-brimmed helmet perched on their heads.


They are emerging from their filthy trenches, trudging through the boot-sucking mud, passing the skeletons of trees and the shell holes of blood, surrounded by the horrible noises of war.


Overhead, the Canadian Red Ensign is fluttering through the smoke.


One hundred thousand brave Canadians fought here 90 years ago today. Three thousand five hundred and ninety-eight died.


Every nation has a creation story to tell.


The First World War and the battle of Vimy Ridge are central to the story of our country.


The names of all the great battles are well known to Canadians and Newfoundlanders, but we know the name of Vimy best of all, because it was here for the first time that our entire army fought together on the battlefield and the result was a spectacular victory, a stunning breakthrough that helped turn the war in the allies favour.


Often, the importance of historical events is only understood with the benefit of hindsight but at Vimy everybody immediately realized the enormity of the achievement.


Brig-Gen. Alexander Ross famously said that when he looked out across the battlefield he saw, and I quote, "Canada from the Atlantic to the Pacific on parade,'' and that he felt he was witnessing the birth of a nation.


The year after the war ended the brilliant Canadian commander at Vimy, Sir Arthur Currie, put it another way in a speech at Toronto's Empire Club.


Canada was a nation of immigrants before 1914, he said. Now these men who have come back are your very own.


Nothing tells our story of the First World War as eloquently or as powerfully as this extraordinary monument. It reminds us of the enormity of their sacrifice and the enormity of our duty to follow their example and to love our country and defend its freedom for ever. The veterans of Vimy passed their stories to their children, who passed it to theirs, who passed it to us, who are passing it to our children.


Thousands of them are with us today. And some of them will return here someday with their own children, and their grandchildren.


Because nothing tells our story of the First World War as eloquently or as powerfully as Walter Allward's extraordinary monument to the 11, 285 Canadians who fell in France with no known resting place.


Allward said he was inspired by a dream. He saw thousands of Canadians fighting and dying in the vast battlefield. Then, through an avenue of giant poplars, a mighty army came marching to their rescue. They were the dead, Allward said. They rose in masses and entered to fight and aid the living: I have tried to show this in this monument to Canada's fallen, what we owed them, and will owe them forever.


It is sometimes said that the dead speak to the living. So at this special place at this special time on this special day, let us together listen to the final prayer of those whose sacrifice we are honouring. We may hear them say softly: I love my family, I love my comrades, I love my country and I will defend their freedom to the end









Speech by the Prime Minister of France M. Dominique de Villepin.

"Your Majesty,

Prime Minister of Canada,

Ministers,

Members of Parliament and elected representatives,

Ambassadors,

Monsieur le Préfet,

General Officers,

Ladies and gentlemen,

We are gathered today at the monument to the Canadian soldiers killed at the battle of Vimy Ridge.

90 years ago, on Easter Monday 1917, an allied offensive attacked an enemy fortress here, a fortress defended by reinforced concrete, barbed wire, machine-gun nests, mines and trenches, and which had already cost the lives of more than 150,000 Entente troops.

[In English:] 90 years ago this Easter Monday, after a week of shelling the enemy lines, in driving sleet, 35,000 Canadian soldiers launched their assault. Beneath a deluge of fire, they advanced towards the German defences. By midnight on Tuesday, Vimy Ridge had fallen. 3,600 Canadian troops were dead and 11,000 wounded. By their courage and their spirit of sacrifice, those who fought at Vimy struck one of the first of the blows that opened the way to victory a year and a half later.

Altogether 66,000 Canadians, all volunteers, many of them so young, coming from all over Canada, were to give their lives for this war fought so far from home. They did so out of solidarity with Great Britain and with France, their brothers. That is why on 26 July 1936, King Edward VIII, your uncle, Ma’am, inaugurated this monument of commemoration and gratitude.

Your nation, Mr Prime Minister, displayed this same solidarity again at Dieppe on 19 August 1942, and on D-Day, when Canadian troops were in the front line on Juno Beach, paving the way for the Liberation of Europe.

[In French:] The heros of Vimy died to defend values which have constantly united us and brought us together: values of peace, freedom, tolerance and respect for man. Our democracies must go on defending these values throughout the world. This is why we are together involved in safeguarding peace in Bosnia, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, in Haiti and Afghanistan. It’s why I want, in France’s name, to pay a solemn tribute to the Canadian soldiers fallen on French soil. In my thoughts too are the six Canadian soldiers killed yesterday in the line of duty in Afghanistan.

To our British allies, I want to express our unfailing gratitude.

On this Artois soil which has suffered so much, and where our allies were our liberators, France says thank you to Canada. [In English:] Thank you Canada.

[In French:] To the Great War veterans, I want to express the whole nation’s heartfelt admiration and deep gratitude.

France honours the Canadian soldiers! France honours Canada! Long live the Republic! Long live France!"


Offline KwaiLo

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Re: Speeches at the 90th anniversary of Vimy Ridge
« Reply #33 on: April 22, 2007, 22:33:52 »
The Prime Minister Of Canada Stephen Harper's speech;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6373IRqSeU

Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7vCQ7VMuvA
« Last Edit: April 22, 2007, 22:43:22 by KwaiLo »

Offline Carcharodon Carcharias

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Well, it's the anniversary of Vimy Ridge today.

8 yrs off 100 yrs.

Here is a 2nd cousin of mine KIA on the Ridge 92 yrs ago today.

He was from down east originally, and ended up with the 38th Ottawa Battalion.

Richard Marlin cut down at just 20 yrs of age.

He's in a CWGC communal grave, resting with his mates just 100's of metres from the Ridge itself, and buried near where he and his mates fell.

RIP mate.

OWDU

EDIT: Anyone who wants to add to this, feel free.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2009, 07:48:22 by Overwatch Downunder »
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Offline kkwd

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Re: Vimy Ridge, 09 Apr 09, and 92 Yrs Ago
« Reply #35 on: April 09, 2009, 05:26:16 »
Here is the info on 2 brothers killed this day in 1917.

The Long, Long Trail
Quote
9 April 1917
814814 Olivier Chenier, 27, and 814813 Wilfred Chenier, 28, both of the Royal Canadian Regiment, Canadian Expeditionary Force, who died during the attack on Vimy Ridge. Sons of Janvier Chenier, of Buckingham, Quebec, they are buried in adjacent graves in Cabaret Rouge British Cemetery, Souchez.

Another pair of brothers from the same day.

Quote
Also 9 April 1917
797131 Arthur West, 28, and 797116Bill West, 26, both of the 14th Battalion Canadian Infantry (Quebec Regiment), Canadian Expeditionary Force, who died during the attack on Vimy Ridge. Sons of Abraham and Emiline West of Norfolk, Ontario, they are buried in adjacent graves in Nine Elms Cemetery, Thelus. A third brother, 797113 Louis West, 21, was also killed at Vimy Ridge on 7 September 7 1917. He is buried in Lapugnoy Military Cemetery.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2009, 05:38:58 by kkwd »
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Offline AJFitzpatrick

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A friend of mine did their master's thesis on the stability of the tunnels at Vimy Ridge.


http://hdl.handle.net/1974/979

Some interesting pictures of the tunnels (and a lot of geology).

Offline 57Chevy

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Vimy Ridge letter shows war did not crush human spirit
« Reply #37 on: December 17, 2010, 06:38:40 »
Vimy Ridge letter shows war did not crush human spirit
article link
A Canadian soldier's letter from Vimy Ridge is being hailed by a European scholar as a "fantastic find" that provides evidence of a previously unknown "Christmas Truce" — the impromptu, Dec. 25 laying down of arms by German and Allied soldiers during the First World War.

University of Aberdeen historian Thomas Weber, whose own great-grandfather fought with the German army during the 1914-18 conflict, said the letter home from a Toronto soldier details an exchange of gifts between enemy soldiers just months before the horrific battle remembered as Canada's coming of age.

The letter is all the more poignant because the young Ontario soldier who wrote it — 23-year-old Pte. Ronald MacKinnon — was killed in the Battle of Vimy Ridge in April 1917, a bloody but successful Canadian charge up a strategic height of land in the French countryside.

A few months earlier, MacKinnon had written to his sister in Toronto about a remarkable event on Dec. 25, 1916, when German and Canadian soldiers reached across the battle lines to share Christmas greetings and trade presents.

"Here we are again as the song says," MacKinnon wrote. "I had quite a good Xmas considering I was in the front line. Xmas eve was pretty stiff, sentry-go up to the hips in mud of course. . . . We had a truce on Xmas Day and our German friends were quite friendly. They came over to see us and we traded bully beef for cigars."

The passage ends with MacKinnon noting that, "Xmas was 'tray bon,' which means very good."

The best known Christmas truce from the First World War took place in 1914, when German and Allied soldiers are said to have sung Christmas carols together and otherwise fraternized in a brief moment of peace amid the killing fields of the Western Front.

But historians have long debated the precise details of that event, and Weber told Postmedia News that most scholars believe such episodes did not recur as the gruesome war dragged on and feelings of hatred and revenge came to fill the minds of men on both sides.

"But these kinds of sentiments were being expressed throughout the war," said Weber, whose recently published book, Hitler's First War, details the First World War experiences of the central figure of the Second World War.

Notably, says Weber, Adolf Hitler's own regiment in the First World War was among those known to have participated in momentary acts of kinship with enemy soldiers. He takes aim in his book at the widely held notion that Hitler was profoundly shaped by a deep hatred and bitterness for the enemy that was common among German soldiers from the First World War.

While Hitler is known to have been personally hostile to momentary peacemaking amid the war, there was a definite "gulf" between his views and those of many Germans on the front lines.

MacKinnon's letter and similar evidence of fraternizing with foes "really puts to rest the long dominant view that the majority of combatants during the Great War were driven by a brutalizing and ever faster spinning cycle of violence," Weber argues in a summary of his research.


"I'm not saying that brutalization did not occur at all," he added, "but more commonly what happened was that soldiers in the heat of battle fought ferociously but, after the battle and after the adrenalin had gone, remorse tended to set in, and there are many incidents recorded where soldiers tried to help injured soldiers from the other side."

It was "because of this kind of sentiment that continued Christmas truces were possible," Weber states.

The historian said he was alerted to the MacKinnon letter following a lecture he gave this fall in Toronto. An audience member approached him afterwards and said his family had direct evidence of the sometimes friendly relations exhibited between enemies during the First World War.

"The letter was a fantastic find and clearly demonstrates that there was an attempt to downplay these small-scale Christmas truces when they happened," says Weber, noting that official military records make little or no mention of such events — largely because they could be interpreted by army commanders as a failure to maintain discipline and a fighting frame of mind among front-line soldiers.

"Officers had to report to higher chain of command so had an interest in downplaying events in the official version in their war diaries."

He said in an interview that British and Canadian soldiers appear to be most commonly involved in Christmas truces, which were occurring despite the "great amount of risk for the first soldier coming out" of the trenches to initiate contact with the enemy.

"You never quite know how widespread the phenomenon will be," he said. "Will the enemy start singing or get out their guns?"

He noted that the "existing popular version" of why Christmas truces occurred suggests "what was ultimately important was whether Allied troops were facing 'good Germans' like Bavarians or 'bad' Germans like Prussians and Saxons. But actually, it seems it doesn't matter whether the Germans were northern, southern, Catholic or Protestant — the influential factor was whether they were facing British — including Canadian and Australian units — rather than French troops."

Other historians have cautioned against "sentimentalizing" life on First World War battle fronts. The award-winning Canadian chronicler of the war, Canadian War Museum historian Tim Cook, has documented the illegal executions of enemy prisoners and other acts of barbarism during the conflict, and once wrote that such "cruel" episodes typically garner less attention that idealized stories of spontaneous truces featuring "cigarette-swapping, football-kicking soldiers at Christmas."

Weber says there's no doubt the brutalizing effects of the First World War led to the "dehumanizing" of enemy combatants in many cases, but that the Christmas truces highlight how a "kind of humanity did survive."

Text of letter written on Dec. 30, 1916 to Jeanie Gregson in Toronto.
Dearest Sister,

Here we are again as the song says. I had quite a good Xmas considering I was in the front line. Xmas eve was pretty stiff, sentry-go up to the hips in mud of course. I had long rubber boots or waders. We had a truce on Xmas Day and our German friends were quite friendly. They came over to see us and we traded bully beef for cigars. Xmas was "tray bon" which means very good.

Do you ever write to Aunt Minnie in Cleveland? If you do, see if she can give you the address of any of our mother's relations in England. Aunt Nellie was saying that some of them lived in Grangemouth, which is not far from Fauldhouse. If you could get me their address I would be very pleased to see them when I am in Blighty again.

I am at present in an army school 50 miles behind the line and am likely to be here for a month or so. My address will be the same, No. 3 Coy., PPCLI. I left the trenches on Xmas night. The trenches we are holding at present are very good and things are very quiet.

I have had no Xmas mail yet but I hope to get it all soon. How is Neil getting on in the city? I'll write to him some of these days. Remember me to all my many friends at home.

Your loving brother
Ronald

Photo:
Canadian soldier, Private Ronald MacKinnon, whose 1916 letter from Vimy Ridge is being hailed as a "fantastic find" documenting a previously unknown "Christmas Truce" between German and Allied soldiers during the First World War.
Photograph by: Oxford University Press, Photo Handout

                      (Reproduced under the Fair Dealings provisions of the Copyright Act)





Offline Michael O'Leary

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Re: Vimy Ridge letter shows war did not crush human spirit
« Reply #38 on: December 17, 2010, 09:09:37 »

The Canadian Virtual War Memorial (CVWM)

Private RONALD  MACKINNON who died on April 9, 1917

Service Number: 157629
Age: 23
Force: Army
Unit: Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (Eastern Ontario Regt.)

(More photos at this link.)

Book of Remembrance page:



Attestation Paper:





Offline Michael O'Leary

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Re: Vimy Ridge letter shows war did not crush human spirit
« Reply #39 on: December 17, 2010, 09:13:05 »
The PPCLI War Diary mentions attempts at fraternization, but claims none occurred. Considering it would most likely have been severely punished, both participants and chain of command, if senior commanders had known, it's unlikely that the event would have been recorded in detail.


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Re: Vimy Ridge letter shows war did not crush human spirit
« Reply #40 on: December 17, 2010, 13:45:12 »
Amazing how certain stories can change your perception of the good and bad in war!
"Always Remembered"

Offline Michael O'Leary

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Re: Vimy Ridge letter shows war did not crush human spirit
« Reply #41 on: December 18, 2010, 17:15:13 »
1916 letter supports tale of Christmas truce
One soldier's letter tells of Canadian and German troops swapping 'bully beef for cigars,' writes Randy Boswell.
By Randy Boswell, Postmedia News December 17, 2010

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/1916+letter+supports+tale+Christmas+truce/3990888/story.html

Quote
A Canadian soldier's letter from Vimy Ridge is being hailed by a European scholar as a "fantastic find" that provides evidence of a previously unknown "Christmas Truce" -- the impromptu, Dec. 25 laying down of arms by German and Allied soldiers during the First World War.

University of Aberdeen historian Thomas Weber, whose own great-grandfather fought with the German army during the 1914-18 conflict, said the letter home from a Toronto soldier details an exchange of gifts between enemy soldiers just months before the horrific battle remembered as Canada's coming of age.

The letter is all the more poignant because the young soldier who wrote it -- 23-year-old Pte. Ronald MacKinnon -- was killed in the Battle of Vimy Ridge in April 1917, a bloody but successful Canadian charge up a strategic height of land in the French countryside.

A few months earlier, MacKinnon had written to his sister in Toronto about a remarkable event on Dec. 25, 1916, when German and Canadian soldiers reached across the battle lines to share Christmas greetings and trade presents.

"Here we are again as the song says," MacKinnon wrote. "I had quite a good Xmas considering I was in the front line. Xmas eve was pretty stiff, sentry-go up to the hips in mud of course. ... We had a truce on Xmas Day and our German friends were quite friendly. They came over to see us and we traded bully beef for cigars."

The passage ends with MacKinnon noting that, "Xmas was 'tray bon,' which means very good."

The best known Christmas truce from the First World War took place in 1914, when German and Allied soldiers are said to have sung Christmas carols together and otherwise fraternized in a brief moment of peace amid the killing fields of the Western Front.

But historians have long debated the precise details of that event, and Weber told Postmedia News that most scholars believe such episodes did not recur as the gruesome war dragged on and feelings of hatred and revenge came to fill the minds of men on both sides.

"But these kinds of sentiments were being expressed throughout the war," said Weber, whose recently published book, Hitler's First War, details the First World War experiences of the central figure of the Second World War.

Notably, says Weber, Adolf Hitler's own regiment in the First World War was among those known to have participated in momentary acts of kinship with enemy soldiers. He takes aim in his book at the widely held notion that Hitler was profoundly shaped by a deep hatred and bitterness for the enemy that was common among German soldiers from the First World War.

While Hitler is known to have been personally hostile to momentary peacemaking amid the war, there was a definite "gulf" between his views and those of many Germans on the front lines.

MacKinnon's letter and similar evidence of fraternizing with foes "really puts to rest the long dominant view that the majority of combatants during the Great War were driven by a brutalizing and ever faster spinning cycle of violence," Weber argues in a summary of his research.

"I'm not saying that brutalization did not occur at all," he added, "but more commonly what happened was that soldiers in the heat of battle fought ferociously but, after the battle and after the adrenalin had gone, remorse tended to set in, and there are many incidents recorded where soldiers tried to help injured soldiers from the other side."

It was "because of this kind of sentiment that continued Christmas truces were possible," Weber states. Weber says there's no doubt the brutalizing effects of the war led to the "dehumanizing" of enemy combatants in many cases, but that the Christmas truces highlight how a "kind of humanity did survive."
© Copyright (c) The Ottawa Citizen

Read more: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/1916+letter+supports+tale+Christmas+truce/3990888/story.html#ixzz18VJj4rr1

Offline MMSS

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Re: Vimy Ridge letter shows war did not crush human spirit
« Reply #42 on: December 18, 2010, 17:20:35 »
The Canadian Virtual War Memorial (CVWM)

Private RONALD  MACKINNON who died on April 9, 1917

Service Number: 157629
Age: 23
Force: Army
Unit: Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (Eastern Ontario Regt.)

Wouldn't have a family connection to Cape Breton would he/you? My wife's mother is a MacKinnon, from Little Narrows.

Offline Michael O'Leary

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Re: Vimy Ridge letter shows war did not crush human spirit
« Reply #43 on: December 18, 2010, 17:26:47 »
Wouldn't have a family connection to Cape Breton would he/you? My wife's mother is a MacKinnon, from Little Narrows.

His attestation paper (posted above) shows he was born in Toronto.

My only connection to Cape Breton was serving as the RSSO for 2 NSH (CB) in the 1980s.


Offline 54/102 CEF

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Re: Vimy Ridge letter shows war did not crush human spirit
« Reply #44 on: December 18, 2010, 18:13:48 »
An old story for a few of us

See link - http://www.westernfrontassociation.com/wfa-publications/118-wfa-stand-to/894-stand-to-84.html

PM me for a larger link of the trace
You can visit me when I retire to the Island of Sayonara - but if the tide goes out - you go too - OK?

Offline daftandbarmy

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Vimy Ridge 2017: 100 Years, 100 Summits
« Reply #45 on: March 15, 2017, 21:59:35 »
Vimy Ridge 2017: 100 Years, 100 Summits

“My father always went into the mountains as if he were entering a church.”  George Orwell


Both my grandfathers served with the Canadian Expeditionary Force in World War One. As infantrymen. Both were at Vimy. 

Of course, they survived or I would not be writing these words. How miraculous that is - that I am here because both survived the mud, blood and gore of that most infamously hideous global conflict - was driven home to me during my first visit to Canada’s Vimy Ridge memorial. On it are inscribed the names of over 60,000 Canadians, most of them Infantrymen like my Grandfathers, who did not survive that terrible war.

My mother’s father, Giles Clark, came close to earning himself an inscription on that memorial: he was buried alive by shellfire at Vimy, fighting with the PPCLI sometime before the famous battle and, incredibly, was dug out alive but terribly injured. Ironically, that probably saved his life as he was invalided out of the war. My dad’s dad and my namesake, Richard Eaton, fought with the 67th Battalion Western Scots. The 67th are perpetuated today by the Victoria based Canadian Scottish Regiment, with whom I now serve. Grandpa Eaton was mustard gassed (‘If you didn’t get a whiff of gas, you weren’t at the front’) and it eventually killed him, as it also did two of his Kelway family brothers-in-law.

Although I didn’t realize it at the time, when I was younger, Canada’s success at the Battle of Vimy Ridge was an intensely proud event in the history of my family. Although no one bragged about it, or even talked about it much at all apart from my dad, it’s now apparent to me that in our own quiet, self-effacing, Canadian way my family were as proud of their contribution to Canadian history as any American whose forefathers froze with Washington at Valley Forge, or Englishman whose ancestors crushed tyranny with Wellington at Waterloo. So, as the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge approached I wondered: what could I do to honour that contribution?

One thing I like to do when I get the chance is to climb mountains. Big ones. My current personal high point is 18,491 ft, which I achieved in February 2016 with a successful summit of Pico de Orizaba. Coincidentally, on April 9th, 1917 the men of the Canadian Corps successfully scaled a well defended high point during that now distant battle. Of course, there is little in the way of comparable risk as most mountains these days do not confront the climber with thousands of well dug in opponents sporting hundreds of machine guns and artillery pieces. However, as a gesture, I thought that it might be appropriate for me to climb 100 summits within a year encompassing 2017.

And so, on December 17th, 2016, I began ticking off the summits (the photo of this first summit is included at the top of this page). My criteria for a ‘worthy summit’ is, of necessity, relatively modest. It has to be a geographical feature that is known as a mountain, or is mountain like in its prominence. It has to be a self-propelled effort by me from bottom to top, and back down again because, after all, there were no Sky Rides, ATVs or helicopters at Vimy Ridge. And I have to be carrying a reasonable load on my back, not only to pay homage to the 60 to 100 pounds of weapons, ammunition and ancillary equipment which encumbered my Infantry Grandfathers, but to make sure that I meet my personal fitness preparation goals for future big climbs.

How am I doing so far?

As of March 14th, 2017, the day I wrote this article, by focusing mainly on the relatively humble local bumps I’ve managed to find the time to haul me and my 30 pound pack up and down 27 summits. Sometimes, I’ve even been able to complete two or three summits in one day. On other occasions, time is short, so I have to be content with one, but I also have a few bigger targets in my sights for this summer. Regardless, as I step off on each climb I think of my Grandfathers, the kind, quiet, and dignified old men I knew as a child and instead envision two battle hardened, 20-something soldiers of the elite Canadian Corps – Shock Troops of the Empire - setting off into No Man’s Land, rifles gripped, bayonets fixed, to do a dirty job in the face of unlimited danger and vast uncertainty. Of course, these thoughts help me to put my relatively trivial discomforts and worries into the right perspective, while concurrently passing down our family’s proud, and very lucky, Vimy and First World War story to my children in an authentic, enduring and meaningful way.

And maybe to also, finally, after 100 years, celebrate a little.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/vimy-ridge-2017-100-years-summits-richard-eaton?trk=v-feed&lipi=urn%3Ali%3Apage%3Ad_flagship3_detail_base%3BiUR88Ygyyg%2B03fHwJHD2LQ%3D%3D

"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

Offline milnews.ca

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Re: Vimy
« Reply #46 on: April 09, 2017, 08:22:58 »
Centennial messages from the Queen ...
Quote
“Today, as people on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean gather to mark the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, there will be difficult memories of loss and of suffering, but also memories of many heroic acts of bravery and of sacrifice on the part of those who served. On this day a century ago, thousands of Canadian soldiers stood far from home together with their allies in defence of peace and freedom. They fought courageously and with great ingenuity in winning the strategic high point of Vimy Ridge, though victory came at a heavy cost with more than 10,000 fallen and wounded.

I am pleased that my son The Prince of Wales, and my grandsons The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry, are attending the commemorations today.

As Colonel-in-Chief, Captain General and Air Commodore-in-Chief of Canadian Armed Forces units, I have often borne witness to the professionalism and dedication, as well as the sense of equality, of respect, of perseverance, of sacrifice and of hope that infuses our military.

It is our duty to remember and honour those who served so valiantly and who gave so much here at Vimy Ridge and throughout the First World War.”
... and from Canada's GG/Commander-in-Chief:
Quote
On this day a century ago, after months of careful planning and surveillance, through considerable innovations in tactics and technology, and after remarkable determination and courage, the Canadian Corps took Vimy Ridge.

Despite all of these efforts, the outcome was uncertain, the cost of victory very high. Three thousand, five hundred and ninety-eight Canadians were killed in the fighting. Seven thousand were wounded. On the home front, millions of Canadians waited anxiously for news of their loved ones.

Today, as we mark the 100th anniversary of the battle, we honour the soldiers who fought at Vimy. We have the opportunity to look back on our history and to learn valuable lessons from the past. Indeed, we have that responsibility.   

Sharon and I are honoured to join the tens of thousands of people attending the commemorations today at Vimy in France, while Canadians gather for memorials in communities large and small across the country. Let us remember those soldiers who sacrificed so much and let us strive always for a better understanding of our history and for peace. Lest we forget.
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Offline jollyjacktar

    Looking forward to Christmas leave.

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Re: Vimy
« Reply #47 on: April 09, 2017, 10:51:50 »
Just got home from the ceremony at the National War Memorial.  It was good, if different.  Not impressed with the Minister of the Environment neglecting to acknowledge members of the CF in her address.  Unintended, I'm sure.

They did have First Nations participation with a Smudge and Drum ceremony.  The drummer was long in song,  I noticed that the foreign dignitaries were somewhat puzzled by it.

But overall,  very good and well done.  The white doves at the end was touching.

Today, I remember Pte Edward Maunsell, 10th Battalion,  my great uncle who fell this morning in 1917.  And my grandfather, Lt  Edward Buckwell, LdSH(RC) who passed away overseas while revisiting Vimy for the memorial dedication in 1936.  As well as all the others who fell and fought at Vimy. :salute:
I'm just like the CAF, I seem to have retention issues.

Offline Chispa

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Re: Vimy
« Reply #48 on: April 09, 2017, 11:53:59 »
What 35 Montreal high school students hope to learn as they travel to Vimy
35 students from Lindsay Place High School are travelling to Vimy to join thousands of other Canadians
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/montreal-students-visit-vimy-1.4059705

Victoria Hall exhibition commemorates 100th anniversary of Vimy Ridge battle
http://montrealgazette.com/opinion/columnists/victoria-hall-exhibition-commemorates-100th-anniversary-of-vimy-ridge-battle


'That day was like a scythe': Montreal and the casualty lists of Vimy Ridge
Battalion diaries, newspapers detail decisive battle's toll on Montrealers 100 years ago

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/vimy-ridge-casualty-lists-montreal-1.4058385


Newly discovered photos depict unveiling of Vimy memorial Walter Wright was one of the organizers of the Toronto
pilgrimage to Vimy, France, made by thousands of Canadian veterans for the unveiling of the memorial.
https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2017/04/08/newly-discovered-photos-depict-unveiling-of-vimy-memorial.html

The Germans considered it a victory, too: Rare images showing everything you didn’t know about Vimy Ridge
http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/the-germans-considered-it-a-victory-too-rare-images-showing-everything-you-didnt-know-about-vimy-ridge





Lest We Forget :salute:


C.U.



« Last Edit: April 09, 2017, 12:59:27 by Chispa »
History is not like playing horseshoes where close enough counts; those that have done the proper legwork have a responsibility to insure a detailed accurate account. Canada at War Blog  http://wp.me/55eja