Cranbrook marks Vimy centennial

Royal Canadian Legion holds ceremony in Rotary Park, on the 100th anniversary of a battle that helped define Canada

  • Apr. 9, 2017 9:00 a.m.

Barry Coulter

The Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 24 Cranbrook, marked the ceremony of the Battle of Vimy Ridge at a ceremony in Rotary Park, Sunday, April 9.

One hundred years ago to the day, April 9, 1917, Canadian troops launched an attack on a strategic German strongpoint in Northern France, which had hitherto proved impregnable to assaults by other Allied troops. Vimy Ridge was in Canadian hands after the four-day battle. It was the first time all four Canadian divisions in the Great War had acted in concerted, and is considered a defining moment in Canadian history, a moment in which Canada began to emerge as a nation with its own unique identity.

In Rotary Park in Sunday, dignitaries, Legion members, emergency services personnel, cadets and others paraded into the park, led by the Legion Colour Guard and the Kimberley Pipe Band.

David D. Hull served as Master of Ceremonies.

Major Kirk Green of the Salvation Army gave the homily.

Branch 24 First Vice President Tammy Richert gave the Memorial Charge.

Murray Knipfel played the Last Post on trumpet, followed by piper Dan McKinnon with the Lament. Knipfel then played Reveille — all in all some minutes of solemn and stirring music.

Larry Miller of the Legion gave an overview of the history of events leading up to the the ultimate victory at Vimy.

Terre Lee Meier sang In The Arms Of Angels, accompanied by Les Bolen.

Those assembled also heard from MLA Bill Bennett, MP Wayne Stetski and Cranbrook Mayor Lee Pratt.

Vice President Richert laid a wreath at the Cenotaph, upon which are the names of five young Cranbrook men who were killed at Vimy — H. Banfield, brothers Lawson and Harold Cadwalladar, Billy Harrison, John McDonald.

The Cranbrook Ceremony was among the many held around Canada, and at Vimy Ridge itself, where the monument stands to Canada’s victory at Vimy and indeed her participation in the Great War.