At country’s only monument to battle, emotions stir 100 years later
MOUNTAIN — Fought by the Canadian Corps on Aug. 15-25, 1917, in Lens, France, the Battle of Hill 70 inspired the community of Mountain to erect a monument to that World War I event just a few years later, in 1922.
Fast forward to this past Sunday, and Mountain continued the tradition by marking the event’s milestone 100th anniversary. And despite the passage of years, real flashes of emotion remained evident, a century on.
See the Nation Valley News video (below) showing much of the Aug. 27 centennial ceremony in the hamlet.
In the clip below, North Dundas Mayor Eric Duncan tells the story of the “Vimy Oaks” — grown at a Scarborough property from a handful of acorns scavenged from the Vimy Ridge battle site by a returning World War I veteran 100 years ago. The remnants of “Vimy Oaks Farm” continues to produce saplings descended from the Vimy battle site, including the pair planted last week at Canada’s only monument to the Battle of Hill 70, in Mountain. The Canadian Corps’ April 1917 victory at the Battle of Vimy Ridge was a precursor to the lesser-known — but exceptionally brutal — Battle of Hill 70 that was fought 15 km away in Lens, France, in August of the same year. Although it too was considered a success, Canada suffered 9,200 casualties in the Battle of Hill 70, a sacrifice commemorated in Mountain since 1922.
Taking part in the ceremonial Aug. 27 planting are local MPP Jim McDonell, MP Guy Lauzon, Lions A4 District Governor Shelly Gauthier and Mountain Lions member Bob Weagant.
Emcee Duncan goes on to thank the Mountain Lions Club for their stewardship over the local monument in the video clip.
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