#100DaysofVimy – January 29, 2017

Each Sunday we will share a story of Remembrance.

Part II – Will R. Bird’s “Thirteen Years After” (Missed last week? Read Part I here).

Touring the old battlefields for Maclean’s Magazine in 1932, Bird found the scars of war remained throughout the countryside. Of Vimy, Bird wrote: “the Ridge seemed to me the most isolated ground in France… The hillside in front was scarred with white streaks – old roads and footways that time has not erased. I climbed, slipping and sliding on the wet, greasy soil… On and on and on… in and out of shell holes, skirting the bigger ones, marvelling that such conditions remained…  one sees old wire and iron stakes, battered helmets, and old mess-tin covers. Here and there a broken bayonet… Bombs of every kind” (Bird, Thirteen Years After, 107).

And still 13 years after, always more bodies of the dead. “Two boys visited Givenchy Wood last summer, and while playing there found a German and Canadian soldier lying together, their hands locked so tightly that they were buried together as they had died… One, or both, had been badly wounded, and they were trying to help each other when death overtook them. No weapons were there… They had died as comrades” (Bird, Thirteen Years After, 108).

 

29-01-2017