Local events mark Battle of Vimy Ridge centennial

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Local events mark Battle of Vimy Ridge centennial

The Battle of Vimy Ridge took place in northern France between April 9 and 12, 1917. During this First World War battle, 100,000 Canadian soldiers, representing all four divisions of the Canadian Corps came together in one assault for the first time.

The soldiers were tasked with capturing a German stronghold on the French hilltop. They eventually won the battle, but it came at a heavy cost, with more than 7,000 Canadians wounded and 3,600 dead as a result of the four-day battle.

On Sunday, 20,000 visitors are expected to attend a memorial service at the Canadian National Vimy Memorial in France. In the Lower Mainland, there are several events where locals can pay their respects.

Vancouver - Mountain View Cemetery

On Sunday at 10:30 a.m., Mountain View Cemetery will host B.C. Lieutenant Governor Judith Guichon along with the Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson and a parade of army cadets as they honour those who lost their lives at Vimy Ridge.

Vimy Ridge at the Port Moody Station Museum

On Saturday and Sunday, visitors to the Port Moody Station Museum can view some sights that a First World War soldier would have encountered. The display features a Sopwith Camel biplane, a 1914 truck, a Great War trench, weapon displays, and living history guides dressed in army uniforms. 

"When you come in here and when you go a little bit closer into the trench, you suddenly see how it feels," said said Markus Farner, the museum director.

"It makes you feel small, it makes you feel very fragile as well, especially on a rainy day, it just feels terrible." 

Richmond - Memorial Service at City Hall 

Together with Branch 291 of the Royal Canadian Legion, the City of Richmond is inviting the public to a ceremony to honour the soldiers who fought at Vimy Ridge.

The Richmond Community band will begin the event with a performance at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, at Richmond City Hall, north plaza. The official ceremony, including speeches and a moment of silence, will begin at 11 a.m.

Surrey - Fraser Valley parade

On Sunday at 10 a.m. in Surrey, more than 400 Fraser Valley cadets, officers, and community members will be on parade at the Cloverdale cenotaph outside the Surrey museum. This is the third year the event, organized by the Army Cadet League of Canada, has been held.  

West Vancouver - Memorial Service

Branch 60 of the Royal Canadian Legion is inviting the public to help commemorate the Battle of Vimy Ridge at Memorial Park in West Vancouver. The parade starts at 2 p.m. and the service will begin at 2:15 p.m. at the cenotaph. A reception at the West Vancouver Legion will follow.