The Battle of Hill 70 Ends
A Centenary Action

“Canadian Scots resting in village near Lens. The hand that rocks the cradle rules the Boche. September, 1917.”
Credit: Canada. Dept. of National Defence/Library and Archives Canada/PA-001853

25 August – On this day in 1917, the Battle of Hill 70 comes to a close. By the end of 24 August, the survivors of the 44th (Manitoba) Battalion were forced to retire from the Green Crassier, having been attacked on all sides and suffering 257 casualties (Nicholson, Canadian Expeditionary Force, 1914-1919, p. 296). In a final move, the 50th (Calgary) Battalion attacked and secured Aloof Trench on 25 August. By nightfall of 25 August, the relief of Canadian units at Hill 70 and Lens was complete, signalling the end of the Canadian Corps’ Battle of Hill 70.

While the attack on Hill 70 was a resounding success, the town of Lens would remain in enemy hands until their retreat in 1918. For their successes, the Canadians were awarded numerous accolades, including six Victoria Crosses, and the HILL 70 Battle Honour. From 15 – 25 August 1917, the Canadians suffered 9,198 casualties killed, wounded or taken prisoner.

“German concrete reinforced houses on outskirts of Lens. September, 1917.”
Credit: Canada. Dept. of National Defence/Library and Archives Canada/PA-003890.