One hundred years ago (at the time of this writing) the 1st Canadian division was deployed to Ypres (pronounced Yeeps) to attempt to do what no other army had been able to do. Canadian General Arthur Currie and his division were given the task of capturing the town of Ypres in Belgium along with French and other British divisions. It was a vicious and bloody battle with brutal hand to hand combat and it also was the first time that the German army used poison gas. When the gas was used it was a chilling, almost unearthly thing. It crept silently across the battle field and it pooled up in the bottoms of the trenches, turning the soldiers own safe havens into death traps. A large portion of the French army broke and retreated when they saw this oncoming fog of death and so did the British, but the Canadians places urine soaked rags over their mouths and when the Germans advanced into what they thought would be empty trenches they were surprised to see the Canadians still there and ready to fight back. This was the first of a series of battles that would continue on until May 25th of the same year in a stalemate, but for the Canadians it was a victory. They had shown their worth as a military force and they had proven their courage in the face of impending doom.  Remembrance  isn’t just for November, lest we forget.

Author: Jack