This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
I have suffered slight hearing damage, but such is to be expected while serving with the Canadian Artillery Brigade. I am lucky enough to have sustained little more than a few bruises thus far. The bruises and the insatiable hunger, meals are a time of rejoice and I savour every bite of the few biscuits and Bully Beef we get. But as of late that has been a minor concern when contrasted against recent events.
As you likely know, the Canadian infantry, our own “Storm troops” captured Vimy Ridge on April 9th. After years of British and French attempts, we did it Father, we Canadians did what others claimed to be impossible. Many months before our attack, General Arthur Currie came to our artillery division. For the first time any of us could recall, he asked us how our guns could be improved. We gave him a great list, and to our gladness he enhanced our guns. With these upgrades we are much more accurate and can give our footman greater support. I doubt it will be possible to forget the destruction brought on by our guns. Our division completely devastated German trenches and kept firing until their supply lines and many machine gun nests were destroyed. The Germans were shelled again and again for an entire week, day and night in preparation for the attack.
Yet, all this was not done in haste. We spent four months training for this day, using a crudely constructed replica of the ridge. Day after day I watched the foot soldiers move
across no man’s land in their squadrons, preparing for Easter Sunday. To many of the men’s approval, heavy rain postponed the Easter attack. Early the next morning we striked. My division’s job was to fire shells landing mere feet in front of advancing Canadians. I was never so careful in my life to aim every shot with precision as to not hurt our own men. Between each glide of our troops, many took this time to smoke, presumably their final cigarettes. At the end of our rolling barrage, the Germans came out of hiding only to be face to face with our Canadian boys. From there, furious hand to hand combat broke out. We captured the ridge in three hours.
The past battles I have been in paled in comparison to the pride felt by all Canadian soldiers when we took Vimy Ridge. We proved ourselves on that day to be more than just a British colony, but in fact are a force to be reckoned with. We have earned the respect of our British and French allies and oddly enough, even the Germans. We took that ridge as one nation united, all four main divisions, from West coast to East coast. When we emerged victorious, standing atop that ridge where so many had fallen, we did not sing any British song. We proudly sang “Maple Leaf Forever” and it echoed across the Douai Plain. Side by side Canadians from across our nation came together to achieve glorious victory on this day. I must close this letter now and go sleep, I will write again soon. I long for the day when I can see the family again. Your loving Son, T.X.