It’s been 97 years since the First World War Battle of Vimy Ridge, which began with a Canadian attack on April 9, 1917.
The battle was a milestone for Canada, marking the first time that all the Canadian divisions in France had fought together as an independent formation.
In the larger picture, Vimy Ridge was part of a pattern of events that showed Canada’s growing independence from Britain, something that took place gradually over decades.
READ MORE: A Winnipeg Vimy Ridge casualty’s story
For Canadian communities, however, the first day of the Canadian advance was the war’s worst.
About 3,060 Canadians died in the battle, and for Toronto, Winnipeg and Vancouver residents, more next-of-kin lost a son, father or brother serving overseas than on any other day of the war. (For Toronto, April 9, 1917 was the second-worst day of the First or Second World Wars, after Dieppe.)
Over the four days of the battle, Toronto lost 111 men, Winnipeg 42 and Vancouver 69.
Toronto's Vimy Ridge casualties
Winnipeg's Vimy Ridge casualties
READ MORE: Winnipeg cadets remember Vimy Ridge
Vancouver's Vimy Ridge casualties
READ MORE: Vancouver Vimy Ridge ceremonyFirst World War »