#100DaysofVimy – February 21, 2017

Each Tuesday, we will feature a place in Canada (or internationally!) with a Vimy Ridge connection. Today we highlight:

Valour Road, Winnipeg MB

Frederick William Hall, VC.
Credit: Canada, Department of National Defence.
Robert Shankland, VC, the only one of three from Valour Road to survive the war.
Credit: Canada, Department of National Defence.

Similar to the Memorial Avenues honouring the fallen across the country, Valour Road in Winnipeg was dedicated to three sons of the city, but with a particular twist. In 1925, Winnipeg’s Pine Street was renamed Valour Road, in honour of its three former occupants, all of whom received the Victoria Cross in the First World War.  Sergeant-Major Frederick William Hall (1915), Corporal Leo Clarke (1916) and Lieutenant Robert Shankland (1917) were awarded the Victoria Cross at different points of the war, but all called Pine Street home when they first enlisted. Sadly, Shankland was the only one of the three to survive the war, seeing action at Vimy Ridge and serving again in the Second World War. In recent years, the story of the three men from Valour Road was featured in a Historica Canada Heritage Minute. Their medals are held by the Canadian War Museum.

Seated on the far right is Leo Clarke, VC. Pictured here on 16 June 1016 with his Bombing Platoon of the 2nd Battalion at rest billets near Poperinghe after fighting at Sanctuary Woods & Maple Copse.
Credit: Canada. Dept. of National Defence/Library and Archives Canada/PA-000344.

#100DaysofVimy – February 14, 2017

Each Tuesday, we will feature a place in Canada (or international!) with a Vimy Ridge connection. Today we highlight:

Roads of Remembrance

Last week we were introduced to the Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire (IODE), a women’s organization that worked to care for troops overseas and raise funds for the war effort on the home front. In the years following the First World War, the IODE strove to have the sacrifices of Commonwealth troops remembered in their communities. In Canada, the IODE championed the creation of Roads of Rememberance. More commonly known as “Memorial Avenues”, they were meant to echo the tree-lined roads of rural France, seen by the Canadians while overseas. The straightest possible avenue of a community was chosen, which was then lined with planted trees in perfect symmetry. Each tree was then specifically dedicated with a bronze plaque to a fallen son of the First World War. It is believed that the Next of Kin Memorial Avenue in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan is the last remaining Memorial Avenue in Canada to retain its original integrity. As such it has been dedicated as a National Historic Site of Canada.

The tree-lined Next-of-Kin Memorial Avenue in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Credit: Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 2003.

#100DaysofVimy – February 7, 2017

Each Tuesday, we will feature a place in Canada (or international!) with a Vimy Ridge connection. Today we highlight Vimy Memorial Bridge, Ottawa ON.

Just as in 1917, public dedications to the Battle of Vimy Ridge continue to be a popular gesture in Canada.  In 2014, a newly constructed bridge crossing the Rideau River in Ottawa was dedicated the “Vimy Memorial Bridge” following the suggestion made by local branches of the Royal Canadian Legion.

#100DaysofVimy – January 31, 2017

Each Tuesday, we will feature a place in Canada (or international!) with a Vimy Ridge connection. Today we highlight an international Vimy connection – in Arkansas, United States.

After the battle of Vimy Ridge, the news of the Canadian Expeditionary Force’s achievement flashed across the globe. Both in Canada and abroad, people felt compelled to honour the monumental occasion. A common gesture at the time was to re-name a community building. In Arkansas, USA, the Germania Missionary Baptist Church did just that, re-naming itself the Vimy Ridge Missionary Baptist Church in 1917. The community went even one step further, re-naming both its post office and the road upon which it was situated to “Vimy Ridge”.

 

Vimy Ridge Missionary Baptist Church. Courtesy of Google Maps.
Vimy Ridge Missionary Baptist Church. Courtesy of Google Maps.

 

Vimy Ridge Missionary Baptist Church. Courtesy of Google Maps.
Vimy Ridge Missionary Baptist Church. Courtesy of Google Maps.

#100DaysofVimy – January 24, 2017

Each Tuesday, we will feature a place in Canada (or international!) with a Vimy Ridge connection. Today we highlight Vimy Ridge Park, Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Recruited and mobilized in Winnipeg, the 44th Battalion (Manitoba) of the Canadian Expeditionary Force was sent to France in August 1916. Immediately after the Battle of Vimy Ridge, surviving members of the battalion erected a monument on the ridge itself in 1917. After the war, in 1924, the 44th Battalion Association and the families of fallen soldiers brought the monument to Winnipeg, where it stands today in Vimy Ridge Park.

 

The 44th Battalion monument on the battlefield of Vimy Ridge some time after 1917.  Photo: National Archives of Australia, M5107, 8363910; RV Morse
The 44th Battalion monument on the battlefield of Vimy Ridge some time after 1917. Photo: National Archives of Australia, M5107, 8363910; RV Morse.

#100DaysofVimy – January 17, 2017

Each Tuesday, we will feature a place in Canada (or international!) with a Vimy Ridge connection. Today we highlight Percival Molson Stadium, Montreal.

In 1913, plans to build a sports stadium on the McGill Campus began. McGill graduate  and star athlete, Percival Molson, MC, was greatly involved with leading the Stadium Committee. Initially delayed by the onset of World War One, the stadium opened in 1915. The first event held on the stadium grounds was in fact a sports program hosted by the McGill Canadian Officers Training Corps auxiliary battalion. Molson went on to serve as a Captain with the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry. On July 5, 1917, Captain Percival Molson, MC was killed by a German howitzer during fighting at Avion, near Vimy Ridge.

His will bequeathed $75,000 towards the construction expenses of the McGill stadium. In 1919, McGill’s Board of Governors officially renamed the venue the Percival Molson Memorial Stadium. For further reading, click here.

Have you visited the Percival Molson Stadium in Montreal? Did you know its connection to the First World War? Let us know!

Captain Percival Molson in uniform, circa 1915. Photo: McGill University Archives, PR041491
Captain Percival Molson in uniform, circa 1915. Photo: McGill University Archives, PR041491

 

#100DaysofVimy – January 10, 2017

Each Tuesday, we will feature a place in Canada (or international!) with a Vimy Ridge connection. Today we highlight the Vimy Memorial Bandshell in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

The Vimy Memorial Bandshell in Saskatoon is located within Kiwanis Memorial Park, which itself was created in 1935 as a public space to honour local and national historic events. Within these 14 acres alongside the South Saskatchewan River is the bandshell. The Vimy Memorial bandshell was opened in 1937 by the Kiwanis Club of Saskatoon, as a tribute to Canada’s participation in the Battle of Vimy Ridge twenty years earlier, and was inspired by the 1936 unveiling of the Vimy Memorial in France. It has continued to be a place for the community of Saskatoon to gather over the decades.

Find out more at https://www.saskatoon.ca/heritage

Vimy Memorial bandstand, Saskatoon. Photo courtesy of @jp_mismo.
Vimy Memorial bandstand, Saskatoon. Photo courtesy of @jp_mismo.

#100DaysofVimy – January 3, 2017

Each Tuesday, we will feature a place in Canada (or international!) with a Vimy Ridge connection. Today we highlight Vimy Peak in Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta.

In Waterton Lakes National Park, located in the southwest corner of Alberta, Canada, you will find the majestic Vimy Peak. Originally, this geographic feature was referred to as ‘Sheep Mountain’ or ‘Goat Mountain’, but in 1917, after the historic battle, it was officially renamed to Vimy Peak in honour of the Battle of Vimy Ridge. These days, it is a popular hiking destination very near to the border of the United States.

Have you visited Vimy Peak? Tell us more on social media @vimyfoundation using #100DaysofVimy!

Vimy Peak, AB

Check back tomorrow for more #100DaysofVimy content!