The Prince of Wales, alongside Princes William and Harry, is to attend the commemorations of the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge on Sunday the 9th of April. This is to take place at the Canadian National Vimy Memorial in France.
The Battle of Vimy Ridge was part of the greater Battle of Arras and took place between the 9th of April and the 12th of April in 1918 as part of World War I. Four divisions of the Canadian Corps faced off against three divisions of the German Sixth Army. Vimy Ridge is seen as Canada’s most impressive military victory and a symbol of the birth of Canadian National Pride.
The event is hosted by Veteran Affairs Canada and will pay homage to Canada’s First World War effort, as well as the estimated 3,500 Canadian casualties who made the ultimate sacrifice. The Canadian government will lead an official delegation in France to participate in the commentate ceremony, as well as other events including the opening of a new Visitor Education Centre.
David Johnston, the Governor General of Canada said: “Sharon and I are delighted to be joined by the Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry for the commemorations.”
He added: “On April 9th, a century later, we will once again stand together united to remember and honour the almost 3,600 Canadian soldiers who were killed in action and the more than 7,000 who were wounded during this battle.”
The Canadian National Vimy Memorial is the largest Canadian Memorial to the First World War in Europe. It features two limestone pylons, a cloaked woman stands in between them mourning those that died during the First World War. It is engraved with the names of 11,169 soldiers who were presumed to be either missing or dead following the First World War.
It was unveiled by King Edward VIII in 1936 alongside the then French President Albert Lebrun, as well as 50,000 Canadian veterans and their families.
More recently, Queen Elizabeth II rededicated the monument in 2007 in the commemorations of the 90th anniversary of the battle.