E005 – Remembering Vimy Ridge
April 9, 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the Battle of Vimy Ridge. For many, Vimy is a widely-loved symbol of Canadian identity. On April 9, 1917, all four divisions of the Canadian Army came together to fight for the first time in the First World War to successfully smash through German defences and the world’s expectations. As a result of the Battle (and many, many other contributions) Canada was awarded it’s own seat at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, a rarity for other British Imperial dominions that were otherwise represented by Great Britain.
Episode 5 of Museum Chat Live! shares the stories of the St. Catharines soldiers who fought at Vimy Ridge from multiple perspectives. We are lucky enough to have letters and diary entries from soldiers including George Hibben, Charles Mercer, Jack House, and Jack Hardy, whose writings bring you right to the battle field.
Curator Kathleen Powell also sits down Jim Hill, Superintendent of Heritage at the Niagara Parks Commission, and former Battery Commander of 10th Battery, Royal Canadian Artillery, a Battery that served at the Battle of Vimy Ridge.
While Vimy remains an important part of Canadian national identity today, many remember the memorial, a vast, massive structure that sits on a beautiful field in France. Vimy is more than the memorial, and more than a Battle in a text book or an exhibit. By listening to this podcast, you are participating in keeping the stories of our local soldiers who served at such monumental battles like Vimy Ridge, alive.
1 – Special Thanks to Jim Hill Superintendent of Heritage at the Niagara Parks Commission, and former Battery Commander of 10th Battery, Royal Canadian Artillery. Find out more about 10th Battery in “The Battery: The History of the 10th Field Battery, Royal Canadian Artillery” available on Amazon.
2 – Canadian Military Historian Tim Cook has just published a book entitled “Vimy: The Battle and the Legend” that examines the role Vimy played in our national story.