97th anniversary of Vimy Ridge marked in Vancouver

ABOVE: A moving ceremony was held in Vancouver’s victory Square today, commemorating the battle of Vimy Ridge. Jennifer Palma reports.

Cadets in Vancouver gathered at Victory Square to commemorate the 97th anniversary of the battle many consider a defining moment in Canada’s history.

The Battle of Vimy Ridge took place from April 9 to 12, 1917, during the height of the First World War. The four Canadian divisions fought together for the first time.

“Vimy had been tried to been taken because it was a Ridge. They had made a number of attempts to take the ridge with the British forces,” said Major Rob Thompson, a Cadet Officer with the Seaforth Regiment.

“They put the Canadians, who were known as the shock troops of the British army into the plain, and they were actually successful in taking the bridge for the first time in a number of battles.”

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MORE: In pictures: The battle at Vimy Ridge

The victory came at a heavy cost. Over 3500 Canadians were killed in the battle, and another 7,000 were hurt.

But it became a symbol of a young country gaining independence from Britain, and today cadet corps sponsor events across the country to help ensure the moment is never forgotten.

“Every year we will be doing this, and every year since we started a few years back, it’s gotten bigger and bigger,” said Cathy Bach of the Army Cadet League.

– With files from Jennifer Palma

MAP: Vancouver home of those killed in the battle of Vimy Ridge.

Vancouver's Vimy Ridge casualties »

Vancouver's Vimy Ridge casualties