Archive for November 2018

Veteran's Day 2018 Canada's Role in Ending WWI

Several years back I was hired to direct a film called, Dominion Day, by a great Canadian production company based in Toronto. Their premise and motivation was to demonstrate to Canadians and the world that their fellow countrymen were not always known as the "peace keeping force" but in fact had been brave warriors and victors. In WWI Canadians led the allied spearhead that broke the Hindenburg Line and pressed on to victory in the last 100 days of the conflict. The historical record is clear to anyone who bothers to look in diaries, dispatches and letters.

The Canadian Expeditionary Force on the Western Front with Prime Minister Borden, Gen. Arther Currie and Gen. Byng

Douglas Haig the British Commander put great faith and trust in General Arthur Currie's Canadians.

"Every day Haig used to come to my headquarters and say...
'Be damned Currie. Do you think you can do it?' He saw that if
we could break the Hindenburg system victory might come this
year. (1918) With confidence borne of long experience with the
Canadian troops I was able to give him assurance each day, 'Yes
we will break it'. Arthur Currie."

This is not opinion but fact but in no way lessens my respect and regard for what the French, British,
Australian and American armies accomplished in some of the most terrible fighting soldiers ever faced.

I spent a great deal of time in Europe at Vimy Ridge, at Arras, at Amiens and many other far off places including Jigsaw Wood, Burlon Wood and Castle Boves. I stood in now peaceful fields that
were once battlefields of the Hindenburg Line which Canadians shed blood to cross. And I said a silent prayer over the hallowed ground where many remain.

The evocative aspect of the location of WWI Commonwealth War Grave Commission cemeteries is the fact that they are the spots on which the soldiers drew their last breaths and almost all are situated
on ground that leads up hill. The fact that Canada was not yet a formalized nation but a Dominion at the close of the war may be the reason that the country has not been given the credit it is due.
I have a profound respect for guts, heroism and the tenacity expended to keep pushing forward when all before you is horror and darkness. There are few wars, which can match the carnage of WWI with perhaps the exception of the American Civil War. And that is why I believe people are so fascinated by these events. They illustrate the limit of human endurance as well as the depth of its depravity.

It is a story rich in triumph and human tragedy and if you would like to learn more I invite you to read or listen to my audio book, How Canada Won the Great War. It is an eye opening tale that will not soon be forgotten.

I salute all the men and women on this Veteran's Day 2018 who chose to fight for liberty and freedom. Next time you see a veteran thank them for their service. They all deserve our thanks and respect.

Posted by Robert Child

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