War Events – April 14, 1917

On April 14, 1917, the sixth day of Canadians’ attack on Vimy Ridge, they had captured more ground, more guns and more prisoners than any previous French and British offensives, at the cost of over 10,602 casualties, 3,598 of which resulted in deaths.

This was the first time that the Canadians had fought as a group and it was the first significant Allied victory in two and a half years. The Canadian’s victory helped dispel the growing legend of the German’s invincibility and cemented the Canadian government’s resolve to keep Canadian troops in Canadian divisions, not sprinkled throughout the British and French army battalions.

The Canadian victory at Vimy was recognized by headlines in the New York Times and a friendly welcome from the French people that they freed from German occupation.

As a result of the battle, Byng was promoted to Brigadier-General and General Currie, a Canadian insurance salesman, was knighted and became Sir Arthur Currie. He was given control of the Canadian Corps. He became the lion that bound them together as a small army within the British Armed Forces.

In memory of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, Walter Seymour Allward was commissioned to design a war memorial on Vimy Ridge after WWI. It was dedicated on July 26, 1936. It took 11 years to build and cost $1.5 million. Carved on the outside walls of the memorial are the 11,285 Canadians killed in France whose final resting place is unknown.

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