April 9 marks the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge. The battle was fought in France between April 9 and 12, 1917. Innovative tactics, painstaking planning and superior training resulted in a great victory for the Canadian Corps. However, the Canadian achievement came at a very high price: 3,598 troops were killed and another 7,004 were wounded. Among the wounded was local military figure Major “Lex” Mackenzie. Today the Battle of Vimy Ridge stands as a symbol of Canadian national achievement and sacrifice.
Pictured above is an aerial image of the Vimy Memorial. Unveiled in 1936, the monument honours the Canadian soldiers who lost their lives in the Battle of Vimy Ridge and stands as a tribute to all those who served their country during the First World War. Built into the side of the hill at the highest point of the Ridge, the monument consists of a base resting on 15,000 tonnes of concrete and two pylons extending 27 metres in height. The memorial includes 20 stone figures mourning the lives lost in battle, and inscribed on the walls of the base are the names of the 11,285 Canadians killed in France whose final resting places are unknown. The Vimy Memorial commemorates a proud but tragic event in Canadian history and is one of the most widely recognized symbols of Canada’s military past.
The image is part of the Mackenzie family collection, and is available for viewing at City Hall on Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Go online for more information about the City of Vaughan Archives.
Archives Record Analyst
Visit the City of Vaughan’s website at vaughan.ca.