Trudeau leads Battle of Vimy 100-year commemoration

2017-04-09 17:01
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and French President Francois Hollande stand in the Canadian WWI military cemetery in Vimy in northern France. (Philippe Huguen, AFP)

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and French President Francois Hollande stand in the Canadian WWI military cemetery in Vimy in northern France. (Philippe Huguen, AFP)

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Vimy - Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has led commemorations on Sunday for the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge in France, considered a founding moment in his nation's history.

Trudeau was joined at a ceremony at the Canadian National Vimy Memorial by French President Francois Hollande and Britain's Prince Charles and his sons Princes William and Harry.

Around 20 000 Canadians made the journey to the memorial in northern France to mark the centenary of the battle which was one of the defining moments of World War I.

Fought together

Canadian troops fought under Canadian command as a united force for the first time there, defeating the German forces in just three days, although they paid a heavy price with 3 600 Canadians killed and 7 000 wounded.

The battle began early on April 9 1917 and was part of a larger British-led offensive that included Australian soldiers, known as the Battle of Arras, which was a diversionary tactic to assist a major French attack further south.

It was the first time that four military divisions from Canada fought together as the Canadian Corps.


Read more on:    canada  |  france

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