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Vimy Ridge - Making history real for young Canadians - 100th Anniversary Options
Hope123
Posted: Thursday, April 06, 2017 12:08:05 AM

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Vimy Ridge - Making history real for young Canadians. April 9 - April 12, 1917. 100th Anniversary Ceremonies in Ottawa and France.
I'm just sharing what Canadians are doing to commemorate what is a very emotional time for Canadians. (Edited - "For a nation of eight million people Canada’s war effort was remarkable. More than 650,000 men and women from Canada and Newfoundland served — over 66,000 gave their lives and more than 172,000 were wounded.")


http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/remembrance/history/first-world-war/vimy-ridge/100-anniversary


"The success at Vimy was undoubtedly a bright spot, a victory in a long succession of Allied defeats. But it was no walkover, no sweeping victory. The attack cost Canada 10,602 casualties, including 3,598 killed, the largest toll in a battle of a few days in Canadian history.

As far as the Germans were concerned, meanwhile, Vimy was a tactical defeat, but not a very important one
." British Divisions gave support to the Canadians.

"Vimy became a symbol for the sacrifice of the young Dominion. In 1922, the French government ceded to Canada in perpetuity, Vimy Ridge, and the land surrounding it. The gleaming white marble and haunting sculptures of the Vimy Memorial, unveiled in 1936, stand as a terrible and poignant reminder of the 11,285 Canadian soldiers killed in France who have no known graves
."

"Almost 100 P.E.I. students will join tens of thousands of Canadian youth for the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge on Sunday."

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/prince-edward-island/pei-vimy-students-1.4056312

The youth are sharing their knowledge on social media. Choirs singing and tributes placed on graves in thanks are all part of the remembrance.


http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/prince-edward-island/pei-vimy-social-media-1.4050491


Fascinating diaries and horrors of war.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/canadians-take-vimy-ridge-a-soldier-s-diaries-recount-battle-preparations-and-horrors-of-war-1.4042443


Retired engineers and pilots have built replicas to fly there. If you are interested in planes built not that many years after the Wright Brothers and flown into war by brave young men with as few as 8 hours of flying experience (boggles the mind) here are some pix for you.


http://www.bcaviationcouncil.org/vimy-ridge/

http://www.canadianflight.org/content/sopwith-pup-replica

A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it. Albert Einstein
Hope123
Posted: Thursday, April 06, 2017 12:35:14 AM

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A figure stands to one side - a sad Mother Canada.



A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it. Albert Einstein
Hope123
Posted: Thursday, April 06, 2017 12:38:26 AM

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A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it. Albert Einstein
Romany
Posted: Thursday, April 06, 2017 7:22:58 AM
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Indeed, Hope, the Canadian willingness to engage in both World Wars is one of the things that has always endeared the Canadians to England. In WW2 the RAF, without the contribution of the Canadians and the Polish, would never have have been able to ward off German bombing raids.

In 2014 all schools in the UK began a 4 years history programme to remember all those British and Allied sacrifices, as the centennial of WW1. The Anzacs, the Canadian, the Sikh, the Indian - all the allies - each have their own stories told, so that contemporary English children learn how much we owe every Commonwealth and allied military.

(Sidenote: - Brighton BECAME Brighton-the-home-of-the Prince because of an Indian Doctor in the 18thC. Until then it was just a small fishing village. So The Palace itself was turned into a convalescent hospital for Indian soldiers and to this day we have a monument up in the Downs where the burning ceremonies of those whose religion decreed it, took place. So that first year, 2014, here was entirely dedicated to the Indian allies. Canada and Australia, I think, were explored in 2015, and Vimy Ridge is one of the battles which, of course, they have all learned about.)

Thank you, to all the Canadians who gave so selflessly to help our tiny island - not just once, but twice in the 20thC.
jacobusmaximus
Posted: Thursday, April 06, 2017 7:56:47 AM

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I don't wish to nit-pick on such a subject as this, but I must say, Romany,that the whole of the United Kingdom -not just England - greatly appreciates the Canadian sacrifice in the World Wars. And just to be clear, England is not an island, so your closing paragraph needs a word of explanation. I do feel strongly that the sacrifice of the Scottish, Welsh and Irish (the Republic and the Province)is not overlooked.

A clear conscience is the sign of a fuzzy memory.
Hope123
Posted: Thursday, April 06, 2017 9:39:20 AM

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The whole idea of this commemoration is not only to remember but to teach children the sacrifices made by all countries including those against whom they fought. One of the great CDN pilots who shot down many planes was upset the rest of his life for killing so many "good young German men".

The idea is to teach the futility of all war. Not to glorify it as is so often done unintentionally. So maybe the next generation will learn how awful it is. We seem to be losing in that area in this world of today.

Some Canadian historians try to paint Vimy Ridge as a kind of coming-of-age story of Canada when it really was a British war. It is just that the losses were so so staggering for Canada at Vimy Ridge. A mother who lost five sons asked why it was so necessary for them to take that ridge. Can you imagine losing five children to anything let alone something as senseless as war?

JCB, Romany did say British and allied - even mentioned other Commnwealth allies. Why is it wrong to call the The British "Isles" an island. I always think of it as that.

Digression- Have I used the term British correctly here? We've talked about this terminology before on the forum, about what is the politically correct term to use when you mean all the countries in the British Isles. I never did get it straight. British to me and Canadians means all the countries - England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. We might say UK too, but mostly we say British or Britain. Sometimes we are even guilty of saying England when we mean all the countries.

A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it. Albert Einstein
Sarrriesfan
Posted: Thursday, April 06, 2017 10:43:27 AM
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Hope123 wrote:
The whole idea of this commemoration is not only to remember but to teach children the sacrifices made by all countries including those against whom they fought. One of the great CDN pilots who shot down many planes was upset the rest of his life for killing so many "good young German men".

The idea is to teach the futility of all war. Not to glorify it as is so often done unintentionally. So maybe the next generation will learn how awful it is. We seem to be losing in that area in this world of today.

Some Canadian historians try to paint Vimy Ridge as a kind of coming-of-age story of Canada when it really was a British war. It is just that the losses were so so staggering for Canada at Vimy Ridge. A mother who lost five sons asked why it was so necessary for them to take that ridge. Can you imagine losing five children to anything let alone something as senseless as war?

JCB, Romany did say British and allied - even mentioned other Commnwealth allies. Why is it wrong to call the The British "Isles" an island. I always think of it as that.

Digression- Have I used the term British correctly here? We've talked about this terminology before on the forum, about what is the politically correct term to use when you mean all the countries in the British Isles. I never did get it straight. British to me and Canadians means all the countries - England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. We might say UK too, but mostly we say British or Britain. Sometimes we are even guilty of saying England when we mean all the countries.


The British Isles refers to all the islands within the group, Great Britain, Ireland, The Isle of Mann,The Isle of Wight, The Isle of Skye, The Isle of Arran etc. there are techincally around 6000 islands of various sizes I understand.

Great Britain refers to the Islands that consist England, Scotland and Wales, Ireland is excluded.

The United Kindgom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland includes the North of Ireland as is implied in the name of it, but not the Republic, it is often shorted to the UK as you say Hope.

Here are other areas such as the Isle of Mann or the Channel Islands that are British islands, but not part of the United Kingdom.

The people of the Irish Republic are very touchy about it being called part of Britian and calling them British, they do not regard themselves as such even though they are part of the British Isles, always call them Irish and the country Ireland or the Republic of Ireland.

The North is a thorny issue and the correct terminology would depend on the political leanings of the person you are speaking to.


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jacobusmaximus
Posted: Thursday, April 06, 2017 1:12:33 PM

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Hope123 wrote:
The whole idea of this commemoration is not only to remember but to teach children the sacrifices made by all countries including those against whom they fought. One of the great CDN pilots who shot down many planes was upset the rest of his life for killing so many "good young German men".

The idea is to teach the futility of all war. Not to glorify it as is so often done unintentionally. So maybe the next generation will learn how awful it is. We seem to be losing in that area in this world of today.

Some Canadian historians try to paint Vimy Ridge as a kind of coming-of-age story of Canada when it really was a British war. It is just that the losses were so so staggering for Canada at Vimy Ridge. A mother who lost five sons asked why it was so necessary for them to take that ridge. Can you imagine losing five children to anything let alone something as senseless as war?

JCB, Romany did say British and allied - even mentioned other Commnwealth allies. Why is it wrong to call the The British "Isles" an island. I always think of it as that.

I guess I over-reacted, Hope. Too many English people say 'England' when they should say 'Britain' or the United Kingom. It is not the occasional slip of the tongue or oversight, but a habit of regarding the other three nations in the UK as so insignificant as to be not worth mentioning. 'When England stood alone against the armed might of Germany' is an oft-repeated phrase, particularly in the south of England. You can be absolutely certain, Hope, that if England had stood alone then we would all be speaking German now. Even the whole UK did not stand alone against Germany in 1940, but were strengthened by volunteers from many Commonwealth countries and even from America and the Republic of Ireland, not to mention Poland and France. It has to be said that the latter two Nations had already been defeated/surrendered and thousands of British men and women died fighting their enemy for their sake. Sure, Polish and Canadian fliers made a significant contribution to the defence of the UK but I would challenge Romany to show me in what way they were indispensable to the RAF in the Battle of Britain or the continuing War in the Air.

I don't know about politically correct, but it is only polite to refer to the four nations in the United Kingdom as 'the UK'. If you mean England, Scotland and Wales you might say Britain, or Great Britain, but never, never, England. It would be just as unacceptable to refer to Britain as Scotland, or Wales. England is not an Island. It is not even an independent country. Yes, it is a great country, the greatest in the UK, and most Scots, including myself, want to remain part of the UK, but we will always be Scots, or Brits. Never English.


Digression- Have I used the term British correctly here? We've talked about this terminology before on the forum, about what is the politically correct term to use when you mean all the countries in the British Isles. I never did get it straight. British to me and Canadians means all the countries - England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. We might say UK too, but mostly we say British or Britain. Sometimes we are even guilty of saying England when we mean all the countries.


A clear conscience is the sign of a fuzzy memory.
Hope123
Posted: Thursday, April 06, 2017 2:52:45 PM

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Thanks Sarri and Jcb. I'll try to remember about Ireland being so "politcally correct" - pun intended. 😀

On this side of the ocean, if people use England to refer to all countries, they do not think the other countries who share the space are less significant. They just do not understand how touchy the subject is. I did not know I was using incorrect terminology and used them all interchangeably until I was on this forum. Now every time I refer to it, I have to stop and think what to say - and try to avoid calling it anything.

I know lots of other allies contributed as much or more than Canada in both World Wars. But Canada's commemoration is the only one I am aware of to post here. Apparently America entered the war 100 years ago today - if they are doing any commemoration I have not heard.

I don't know if any other country lost so many in one battle, either. Or so large a proportion of their tiny population fought. I'm proud that Canada stepped up, but I hope nobody ever has to again - not looking good in that regard.

What Romany said was Canada was endeared to England. Then went on to describe all the allies. The only adjective for island was tiny and I assumed she meant the whole "kit and caboodle". (Avoidance perfected? Angel )

I appreciate your feelings Jcb. Canada is often overlooked too, so I understand. That is a minor reason why I started this thread. And I appreciate Romany telling me that she appreciated Canada's help too.

So if I stick to UK all the time, I'll be correct? Do I have to add Rep of Ireland? If I say Britain or British meaning the whole island will forum members understand I mean Ireland too?

I think I shall find you a new term to include all - "you guys over there across the English channel from France". lol. My husband of Scottish ancestry says I should refer to you as "all of you over there who are neighbors of Scotland". 😀

Anyhow, I hope some members clicked on the links, especially the first one from Veterans Affairs and the ones about building the replica planes and the diaries. I found the little details that showed what life was like 100 years ago to be fascinating.



A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it. Albert Einstein
jacobusmaximus
Posted: Thursday, April 06, 2017 3:29:12 PM

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The whole island of Ireland was part of the UK. I won't go into rights and wrongs of that, but the bulk of the Irish did not want that and Britain eventually agreed that Ireland should be independent - apart from six of the 32 Counties where there were more Protestant Brits than Irish. Those six counties remained (with agreement of the rest of the seceding Ireland) part of the UK in 1921. Since then there has been the Republic of Ireland, once known as Eire, and Northern Ireland, also known as Ulster. So 'Ireland' means the island, but not the independent country. Britain, or Great Britain is the UK except for Northern Ireland. The British Isles is all of the islands in the group.

A clear conscience is the sign of a fuzzy memory.
Romany
Posted: Friday, April 07, 2017 6:48:25 AM
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Jacobus - wow! Sorry to have pushed your buttons.

The reason I said 'England' is because I actually DON'T KNOW the feelings towards Canadian fliers from any of the other countries in the UK. I was speaking from personal knowledge and so did not want to extrapolate from that a blanket feeling for the whole of the UK.

My father was a career officer (i.e. not 'called up') in the RAF and stayed on, of course, long after the war had ended. I was brought up listening to him and his mess-mates and to all their stories - alongside those of my mother who, through her war-work, was involved with allied personnel. (I even, to this day, know the words to all their mess-songs). Hope knows this, so I thought it would be heart-warming for her to hear about the opinions I grew up hearing and being endorsed, from people who were involved with them.

Being half Irish myself, I had absolutely no intention of being 'superior' by my usage of the word 'England' or "English" - such an ideology is most certainly one that has never occurred to me. I was just being honest: - I simply can't speak for the Scots, or the Welsh or the Manx or the Jersey Islanders, or any others.

By outlining the 4 year educational initiative about WWI I had hoped I was emphasising the fact that we are commemorating ALL. But, once again - I can speak only for England. I have no idea if this initiative is also being undertaken by the Education departments of other countries.

OK - 'our little island' was perhaps insensitive. However, I also thought Hope would recognise that allusion - it's a well-known meme and, as we are not being political here, I thought it would bring a smile.

PS. I am not arguing against your case for 'having a go', but I am a little hurt that you would think, after all this time, I had some idea about England being the only country worth mentioning in the UK. Especially knowing I'm an historian! How could England ever feel superior about the way Scotland, Ireland and Wales have been treated through the centuries?

(Sigh: do I have to explain that I am using 'Ireland' historically?)
Sarrriesfan
Posted: Friday, April 07, 2017 9:18:54 AM
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Hope I did enjoy your links to the stories about the replica aircraft flights, but then again I have always liked vintage aircraft.

If you ever make it to my part of the UK and like that kind of thing then you should visit the Shuttleworth Collection which has the world oldest still flying aircraft, a Bleriot from 1909 and several planes that date back as far as 1918 in its collection.

I should have sad that we do hold all those from the Commonwealth nations that fought alongside us in both wars in the highest regard.

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jacobusmaximus
Posted: Friday, April 07, 2017 11:08:12 AM

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Romany - thank you for your full and gracious reply to my 'rant'. I misjudged you and I have no excuse. My fault entirely.

Sarrriesfan - I have been to the Shuttleworth Collection on an Open Day and watched these old crates flying - in time to music from a live orchestra! Amazing. And it is amazing that some of these machines can get into the air. They are just like a few bits of matchwood wrapped up in a handkerchief.

A clear conscience is the sign of a fuzzy memory.
Sarrriesfan
Posted: Friday, April 07, 2017 11:57:04 AM
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jacobusmaximus wrote:
Romany - thank you for your full and gracious reply to my 'rant'. I misjudged you and I have no excuse. My fault entirely.

Sarrriesfan - I have been to the Shuttleworth Collection on an Open Day and watched these old crates flying - in time to music from a live orchestra! Amazing. And it is amazing that some of these machines can get into the air. They are just like a few bits of matchwood wrapped up in a handkerchief.


It's a rather nice way to spend a summers evening, listening to the 'Flying Prom' and watching the aircraft fly and sipping a cold glass of wine or beer.
It is amazing that they do get into the air you are right Jacobusmaximus you are right.

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Romany
Posted: Friday, April 07, 2017 1:46:00 PM
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Not to worry Jacob.

Btw, you might be interested to know that in Papua New Guinea the most treasured, the most reliable, the most trusted plane of all was the DC3. Most of the country is thick jungle - there are only a few roads around towns and villages - so everyone - and everything - has to go by air. When the Aussies left after WWII they left the DCs behind...and they were pounced on as the answer to so many problems.

I've travelled in DC3 where you can see the rest of the sky through the rivet holes; and those which only have seats around the side so you can share the middle with other people's pigs and chickens if you miss out on seating. I've landed on golf-courses in a DC3 - and even during an earth tremor!

And I'm TERRIFIED of flying!

Yet I trusted those old lumbering crates (literally) with my life and never felt a qualm - even when an engine caught fire. Even today, I would sooner ride one of those than anything else that's in the skies now.
Hope123
Posted: Friday, April 07, 2017 3:01:07 PM

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Ro, you have had so many more experiences than most people ever dream of!

I did not know the "tiny island" meme.

:::::

I'm not that crazy about aircraft myself - as long as they get me there without too much hassle that's all I worry about. ;)

But my husband actually tried to join the Royal Canadian airforce, RCAF, as a young man. He passed all the aptitude tests with "flying colors", pun intended, but failed the medical because of bad astigmatism. So he is a real war and plane buff - loves all the museums etc. He still feels he really missed out. He would love to see the Shuttleworth collection.

The Veterans Affairs and other groups have been planning and working on this commemoration for ages.

A correspondent for CBC did a failrly long piece for the National Nightly News and aired it from France yesterday.

It was such a shame because even after all his work it was given short shrift because they made Syria the lead story and then just kept repeating themselves over and over when they really had nothing to say beyond the few basic facts.

C'est la vie.

(Edited - what a nice apology, JCB. 😀Applause )

A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it. Albert Einstein
Hope123
Posted: Saturday, April 08, 2017 12:20:37 AM

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I watched The National tonight and Peter Mansbridge, Canada's trusted journalist, continued his specials on Vimy Ridge from France. The commemoration is aired this Sunday morning at 9 a.m. on CBC.

But why I am adding this post is to post the link explaining how they filmed and used virtual reality to let the young folks feel as if they are right there in the trenches. They had to get the permission of the government of France and Canada's Veteran Affairs to use a device with 16 cameras and a Google drone like they use to film locations on maps.

The kids loved it, of course. How to bring history to life!


http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/vimy-google-trekker-cbc-1.4056619

I got a catch in my throat just watching it - and my relatives were all either too young or too old for both wars so I didn't lose anyone personally. But the fact that the Allies have kept us free for at least a hundred years is humbling indeed. All the gravestones! One soldier as young as 17 - he lied about his age.



A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it. Albert Einstein
Romany
Posted: Saturday, April 08, 2017 5:50:08 AM
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Hope - ah, sorry - I was sure I'd talked about the 'our tiny/little island' to you. So I raised ire unnecessarily by mentioning it? Damn.

And yeah, my life has been/still is rather eventful. Thing is, it was only when I came to UK and started actually trying to live a 'normal' life that it struck me I had no idea how that worked!!
Hope123
Posted: Saturday, April 08, 2017 3:10:57 PM

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Romany wrote:

Hope - ah, sorry - I was sure I'd talked about the 'our tiny/little island' to you. So I raised ire unnecessarily by mentioning it? Damn.

And yeah, my life has been/still is rather eventful. Thing is, it was only when I came to UK and started actually trying to live a 'normal' life that it struck me I had no idea how that worked!!


Lol, Romany. You may have! I have problems remembering how old I am!

You used the word "Sorry" as if you are Canadian! 😀

A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it. Albert Einstein
Hope123
Posted: Sunday, April 09, 2017 12:34:24 PM

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A lovely ceremony that was meant not to celebrate war but to pay homage to those brave teenagers and to prepare us for the future.

One speaker said today is a time of suffering and uncertainty.

So today is not only to remember the dead but to appeal to the living!

http://globalnews.ca/news/3366754/vimy-ridge-poppy-ceremony/

Edited - I was surprised at the number of people there - most were from France, Canada, and GrB/UK. As well as CDN and French officials, Princes Harry, Charles, and William were there. A very touching ceremony.



A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it. Albert Einstein
Hope123
Posted: Monday, April 10, 2017 3:40:01 PM

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My brother called yesterday - my grand nephew was there along with 12,000 CDN students. They were expecting 25,000 people but I didn't hear how many actually arrived. We'll hear all about it when we see them Good Friday.

I was very surprised to hear how many people visit Vimy Ridge routinely.

A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it. Albert Einstein
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