Vimy

The assault on Vimy Ridge took place on April 9, 1917. Four Canadian divisions fought together as a unified force for the first time and succeeded in dislodging the German defenders who had defied previous Allied attacks. The Streetsville Review published a number of reports, but the full significance of the battle in Canada’s young history was yet to be realized.

Anxious readers learned about the courage and determination of the Canadians in one of the first dispatches.

Five Days 19 April 1917
Streetsville Review, 19 April 1917

 

There was good news for Pte. Cecil Sproal’s family. Cecil confirmed the “iron rations” and was forthright about the battle’s gruesome conditions. Still and all, he reported that the Canadians had done a grand job and “covered themselves in glory.”

Cecil Sproal 7 June 1917
Cecil Sproal 7 June 1917 B
Streetsville Review, 7 June 1917

 

Canadian troops were lauded for both their “splendid fighting qualities” and their “ceaseless toil” in opening up transportation and communication lines. Canadian Headquarters in France now considered the ridge to be impregnable to the enemy.

Big Haul 19 April 1917

Streetsville Review, 19 April 1917

 

According to later reports, the Allies were continuing to hold and strengthen the new battle line. The “vast improvement” in their situation would have been welcome news to the people of Peel County.
Canadians Sweep 19 April 1917
Streetsville Review, 19 April 1917

 

Further news indicated that the British were keeping up their drive against the disorganized German front, while the Canadians had moved down the southeastern slope of the ridge to take over a mile of enemy trenches.  Much of the German arsenal was in the hands of the Allies and more than 13,000 had been taken prisoner.
More France 19 April 1917
Streetsville Review, 19 April 1917

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