Background information | Contact details

Notre-Dame de Lorette
1WW cemetery and museum

 
The cemetery, Basilica, and Lantern Tower are open every day except Xmas and New Year.

Heroic Battle
The battle for Vimy Ridge marked a turning point of the 1914-18 War. These hills were a key part of the defences erected by the German invaders to prevent recapture of the northern French coalfield - in front of their supposedly impregnable "Hindenberg Line".

In 1917 Canadian troops finally captured the ridge, following a massive artillery barrage. Nearly 4000 Canadians lost their lives - altogether over 66,000 Canadians died in the First World War.

Reconstructed trenches
Trenches and tunnels have been restored [
1.below] to give the visitor an idea of the daunting task facing the Canadian attackers. The two lines of trenches seem unbelievably close together. The visit certainly brings to life the appalling experience of men living in the trenches and facing the daily possibility of death or mutilation amid squalid insanitory surroundings in trenches running with mud, filthy water and rats.

 
1. Reconstruction of front-line trench at Vimy Ridge - the enemy is only a few metres away.
2. "foxholes" where soldiers slept in the trenches, gave some shelter from sniper fire
3. Germans used mustard gas shells to support their attacks on the Allied lines
4. Murderous artillery bombardment preceeded an advance by infantry across "no-man's land".
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Background information
First World War

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Location:

Between Lens and Arras
Take "Neuville St-Vaast" exit from A26 autoroute,
follow D49.
Information/ reservations:
MONUMENT DU PARC DU CANADA, 62580 VIMY
Tel: 00 33 3 21 48 72 29 Fax: 00 33 3 21 58 58 34
Free guided tours by Canadian students daily through most of the year (April - November).

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www.theotherside.co.uk © Copyright 1999 Invicta Media. Last updated 20th October 1999