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Richmond Hill resident shares Canadian National Vimy Memorial photo for Remembrance Day

‘Canadian contribution should never be forgotten’: Pyke
Nov. 13, 2023
Melissa Walalce

While on vacation in France in 2019, Roger Pyke and his wife, Jennifer, visited the Canadian National Vimy Memorial in northern France to honour Canadian soldiers killed or presumed dead during the First World War.

“We wanted to share this picture simply because of Remembrance Day," said Pyke, who has lived in Richmond Hill since the 1970s. "We both had grandfathers who fought in WWI (although not at Vimy Ridge) and we both believe in never forgetting the war and sacrifice.

"I have researched and written about Vimy and read Pierre Berton’s book in the past, but when we were there it was almost deserted and I was not prepared for the utter serenity of the place.

“It's hard to believe standing there that Canadian troops fought on that spot from trench to trench in a full-scale infantry assault that proved to be a turning point in WWI. The monument does more than mark the battleground. It has more than 11,000 names carved into its surface to give memorial to all the Canadians who fell in WWI but who have no known grave.

“The Canadian contribution should never be forgotten. In 1914, Canada was a country of only eight million people and yet played such a huge role in WWI.”