This year marks 100 years since WWI armistice.  For this Throwback Thursday, I am publishing once again the boots I painted last year when we commemorated 100 years since the Battle of Vimy Ridge. Lest we forget...

 

The Boots of the Fallen

These boots represent a day of commemoration of an epic battle.  Each pair of boots for every lost soldier, will sit on Vimy Ridge as we remember their tremendous sacrifice.

On this day, Canadian soldiers fought valiantly and captured Vimy Ridge.

Boots of the Fallen - Watercolour in sketchbook

"Boots of the Fallen". 10,602 Canadian soldiers killed at Vimy and over 7,000 injured in a battle that lasted four days beginning April 9, 1917.

This great battle represents a coming of age for Canada.

French and British armies failed to take Vimy Ridge.

Attempts to seize Vimy Ridge in the past, particularly in 1915 had failed but had left the Germans very little space to manoeuvre. With the Douai Plain behind them, they were locked into their position on the crest of the ridge. Consequently, this location was heavily fortified with trenches, machine guns and barbed wire. (veterans.gc.ca)

During cold, snowy spring days, in three lines of muddy trenches, Canadians awaited their orders. In this decisive April 1917 battle, Canadian soldiers would move up the ridge, make greater advances, and capture more soldiers than any other offensive during WWI.

Canadian casualties at Vimy

Vimy was reclaimed from the Germans after four days of intense battle.

Canadians lost 10,602 men.

The Vimy Ridge offensive is seen as particularly important in our coming of age because for the first time, all four divisions of the Canadian Corps fought together and captured the strategically important crest of the hill. In this battle alone, four Canadians earned the Victoria Cross. (veterans.gc.ca)

The Victoria Cross was the Commonwealth's most important military decoration for exceptional bravery while in enemy presence. (In 1993, Canada replaced the Commonwealth cross with its own Victoria Cross, but no Canadians have yet to receive this medal.)

Vimy Ridge, where physical evidence of the battle remains, is Canada's National Memorial in Europe.

To see other posts about remembering our war heroes visit  CWACs, WDs, Wrens, and Nursing Sisters have this in common and Remembrance Day 

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