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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.
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.
Trenches and tunnels have been restored
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.
of front-line trench at Vimy Ridge - the enemy is only a few
2. "foxholes" where
soldiers slept in the trenches, gave some shelter from
3. Germans used mustard
gas shells to support their attacks on the Allied lines
4. Murderous artillery
bombardment preceeded an advance by infantry across
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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
Reviewer - ?RosemaryB, Independent Traveller Send
in a review
Between Lens and Arras
Take "Neuville St-Vaast" exit from A26
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).