Meet Norm Christie at Royal Canadian Legion Branch 43.
Norm Christie outlines the history of the development of the Canadian Corps from the early days in 1915-16 as inexperienced Colonials, to 1917-18 when they became the most effective fighting force on the Western Front. How did this incredible transformation happen? Who were the players and personalities that made it happen? How was it different to the developments within the British and Australian Armies? How was it all forgotten?
Mr. Christie will also update us on the progress of his campaign to recover 44 lost Canadian soldiers at Vimy Ridge.
On April 9, 1917 the Canadian Corps, 100,000 strong, attacked the German stronghold of Vimy Ridge. The Canadians drove the enemy from the Ridge and achieved the impossible. But the losses were heavy; 10,000 casualties, including 3600 dead. In the face of withering machine gun fire, maneuvering between the massive mine craters that lined No Man’s Land, the 16th Canadian Infantry Battalion, the Canadian Scottish, attacked, capturing all their objectives. 100 of the 600 men were either killed or later died of wounds. Canadian burial squads followed the attack, burying the dead in temporary battlefield cemeteries, including mine craters. 44 of the Canadian Scottish were buried in a mine crater, designated CA40. After the war, exhumation squads reclaimed 1000s of isolated graves, bringing them into permanent war graves cemeteries. CA40 was designated to be exhumed and moved to Nine Elms, but there is no evidence of any of the men from CA40 there.
Searching all the likely cemeteries in the Vimy region also revealed no evidence of the Canadian Scottish graves.
Military historian Norm Christie believes they remain where they were originally buried on the Vimy battlefield in 1917. To give these heroes a proper burial he must first evaluate this dangerous battlefield using GPR and Electronic Analysis to pinpoint CA40. Mr. Christie has been working tirelessly for some 2 years to raise the $110,000 necessary to pinpoint the location of CA40. This funding will provide for:
– an engineering team and equipment;documenting the process
– compensating local farmers;
– safety and security costs.
Light refreshment and the bar will be offered.
Street parking can be found in the area around the Branch.