Join us on Saturday April 10, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. on our YouTube channel for our presentation of “Our Boys: Mississauga Remembers The First World War & The Battle of Vimy Ridge”.
April 9th, 2021 marked the 104th anniversary of The Battle of Vimy Ridge and in recognition of this momentous event in our history, we will be featuring the stories, battles, historic figures, and the losses Canada that contributed to what has been referred to as “the birth of a nation”.
The Battle of Vimy Ridge was a pivotal military engagement fought during the First World War as part of the Battle of Arras in France. Canadian troops were ordered to capture Vimy Ridge in April of 1917. The Ridge was a strategic and heavily fortified ridge that held a commanding view.
To capture the Ridge, Canadians carefully planned and rehearsed their attack. To bring soldiers safely forward for the assault, engineers dug deep tunnels and soldiers remained underground for weeks before the attack.
In the week leading up to the battle, artillery pounded the German positions on the Ridge. Attacking together for the first time, the four Canadian divisions, consisting of more than 15,000 soldiers, stormed the Ridge, and Hill 145, at 5:30 am on April 9, 1917, behind the “shield” of an artillery “creeping barrage” – also referred to as the Vimy Glide. Three days of costly battle secured the victory. Many consider the Canadian victory at Vimy a defining moment for Canada. Canadian troops also earned a reputation as formidable and effective because of this stunning success. But it came at a heavy cost: 3,598 Canadians were killed and another 7,004 wounded.
Amongst those at Vimy were seven soldiers from historic Mississauga who lost their lives:
Private Dennis Ainger of Erindale
Sergeant Thomas Cartwright of Erindale
Private Joseph Clarke of Streetsville
Private William Kidd of Clarkson
Private Eli Rossiter of Clarkson
Private Jack Young of Clarkson
Private James Fawcett of Streetsville
Eleven other soldiers from historic Mississauga were wounded. Of these, four soldiers received medals for their conduct.
#ApartTogether we celebrate a historic victory for Canada and remember that it came at the ultimate price for many.