When the question “who is the most important figure in Canadian history?” comes up, very few think of the name Arthur Currie. But he is probably the one name that should come up. Because on this day 95 years ago, April 9th, 1917, the name Canada was barely known. But a scant 24 hours later, the name Canada was on the lips of countless people.
For on April 9th, Canadians fighting as a single unit for the first time in history, utilized Currie’s “Creeping barrage” to take Vimy Ridge from the Germans. It was the first time a nation had taken land back from the Germans and held it in the Great War. Canadian casualties numbered less than 10,000 taking the ridge when British and French troops took tens of thousands each in previous attempts to take the ridge.
Last December, I was lucky enough to visit Vimy Ridge. A few pictures are below. If you are a Canadian who is proud of your country, I highly suggest you make the pilgrimage to this wondrous monument. The battle defined Canada as a nation. It put us on the world map. It is the essence of who we are.