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 Vimy Ridge France

Part of the Battlefield

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Vimy Ridge




Vimy Ridge is a famous WWl battlefield just a few miles from the city of Arras. We are travelling round all the first World War battlefields in France.

The ridge is a couple of miles outside of Vimy and is not over done with signs.Luckily you can see the monument on the hill follow the D55 Arras to Lens road. The road takes you up to the top of the ridge. Which is like a large park fenced off grass area and a lot of pine trees.


Vimy Ridge Memorial

Vimy Ridge picture


You can see why large areas are fenced off in the sign undetornated explosives. The area has hundred of holes from shells and mortars that landed there. Some of the shell holes would hold a bus.

The information centre

Vimy Ridge picture





Vimy Ridge signs

Vimy Ridge sign picture

Vimy ridge sign picture

There is a very good visitor centre run by Canadian students who are very helpful.They give talks on the battle and you can take a guided tour of one of the tunnels. The tunnel entrance is in the photo it is about 10 miles long. With a maze of tunnels running off it The tunnels were built by the British army and are deep enough to keep you safe from the shells. You can also see the trenches in the other photo

Vimy Ridge Tunnel


Vimy ridge tunnel picture

Vimy ridge trench picture

The photo below shows some of the deep craters still very visible 90+ years after the battle

Vimy Ridge picture



One of the free guided tours around the site

Vimy Ridge picture



CHRONICLE OF EVENTS

AT VIMY RIDGE AND COURCELLETTE

BY

LIEUT R. LEWIS, M.M.

Zero hour (5.30 a.m., Easter Monday, 1917) had come! The VIMY RIDGE attack was on! Whistles blew and over the top went the Canadians. The artillery started their work.

Hundreds and hundreds of guns commenced drum fire simultaneously. Looking towards the Hun trenches it appeared as if the whole line was afire. It was a grand and impressive sight. The gallant pipers leading the 25th could be seen but it was impossible with the din to hear what they were playing.

Gradually we advanced our ground--nothing but holes filled with mud and water to make the going very difficult. At last we reached the German line which had been taken by the 24th and 26th Battalion. We jumped into what was left of the trench and waited until the set time to move forward.

Looking at the Hun trench one could easily see what good work the gunners were doing. Everything was smashed in; dugouts were gone and many of the enemy with them. Our next objective was the TU ROP GRABEN trench.

By this time the Boche realized that he had no small attack to deal with and his artillery, helped with many machine guns, started, causing us many casualties. Just about this stage of the advance Major Delancy was killed and also R.S.M. Hinchcliffe.

We could see our boys for miles advancing with confidence and determination. The Hun shells and bullets were coming swift but that did not stay the Canadians.

Parties of the enemy were trying to put up a fight but they were soon settled. Major A.O. Blois, though wounded, took command of the Battalion and for this and other good work he was awarded the D.S.O.

Finally we reached our last objective and commenced to consolidate. This trench, like the others, was in an awful condition. We found a large dugout named CRAEMER HOUSE which was a Battalion headquarters. By this time we had lost not only Major Delancy, but Lieuts. Hallesy, Sheriff, Feindel, Barber, as well as other officers wounded, and a good number of men both killed and wounded.

Then came the long hours of waiting. It had rained during the morning and everybody was more or less wet and as the evening drew on it became very cold and by the time the morning came again, the Battalion having no overcoats, or shelter were in a sorry plight, with but little food or water except what the Hun had left behind.

On the evening of the attack Col. S. Bauld came with Lieuts. Lewis and Fisher and Capt. and Q.M. Ingraham, who having heard of the casualties amongst the officers volunteered to come and help out. The following night water was sent up and altho it tasted more like petrol we were glad to get it.

That night we moved back to the rear trench and everyone felt a lot happier when a rumour went around that the Battalion was going to be relieved. After holding the position for less than two days we were sent for two days rest, prior to being relieved, into a larger German tunnel known as FOLKER TUNNEL.

Lieut. Dryden was detailed to take charge of the burial party and the sad work it was, collecting friend and foe from all over the battlefield.


A five minute drive from Vimy Ridge you reach the village of Neuville Saint Vaast.Which has 3 cemeteries La Targette French war graves over a 11000 soldiers.next to a British with 598.The largest German cemetery in Europe 44000 plus graves is nearby

La Targette French war graves

Vimy Ridge picture



Vimy Ridge picture



Google map of the D55 the ground with the trees to the right still have live shells buried there


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