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Vimy Ridge
Canadian Memorial & 1WW museum

The Canadian memorial on top of Vimy Ridge, looking over the rolling field of the lowland former coalfield of the North. The central statue of a woman represents Canada - a young nation mourning her dead. Detail [R]: side group of figures called "the Defenders", representing Breaking the Sword [not shown], and Sympathy for the Helpless.

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

...My husband and I were very impressed with this memorial and also the site. It is very well maintained, and the guides are knowledgeable. Visiting it is a touching and humbling experience...
Reviewer - ?RosemaryB, Independent Traveller Send in a review

Between Lens and Arras
Take "Neuville St-Vaast" exit from A26 autoroute,
follow D49.
Information/ reservations:
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).



Arras Lorette 1WW French museums © Copyright 1999-2007 Invicta Media. Last updated 8th August 2007