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14 April, 2017

A VISIT TO THE BATTLE OF VIMY MEMORIAL



Southampton resident Bill Streeter has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to the battles in which Canadians participated.

With the 100th anniversary of Vimy, Streeter began to reminisce over other monuments that commemorate fallen Canadian troops. "One of the most moving for me is 'The Brooding Soldier," says Streeter.
The Brooding Soldier

"St. Juliaan/St. Julien was the site where the German army first used gas as a weapon against the French and Canadian troops in 1915," he explains.  "It was stored in tanks much like welding tanks today, and when the wind direction was blowing in the right direction toward the allies, the Germans opened the tanks."

The French troops retreated immediately while the Canadians moved forward with urine soaked rags over their faces and drove the German troops back 4.5 miles.  The 18,000 Canadians held the line but more than 2,000 died.

Commemorating the site, the 'Brooding Soldier', was actually one of the designs submitted for Vimy.  "It is situated on a very moving location perched on the top of a ridge looking down to Ypres and the surrounding countryside," says Streeter.

While he says there may be others from the area who died in the battle of Vimy, on a recent visit he found the grave marker below at Canadian Cemetery No. 2 by the grounds of the Vimy Memorial.

"Private D. McIntyre died during the battle on April 9th. He was born in Paisley on September 10th, 1882. His next of kin was his mother Mary and prior to enlisting he was a 'railroad' man. He was not married.

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