Major Canadian Battles of the First World War. Second Battle of Ypres. April – May 1915 British offensive tactics prove ineffective First use of chlorine gas Establishes Canada as a fighting force 59,000 casualties – 6,000 CAN John McCrae writes In Flanders Field Significance:.
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In Flanders Fields the poppies blowBetween the crosses, row on row,That mark our place; and in the skyThe larks, still bravely singing, flyScarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days agoWe lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,Loved, and were loved, and now we lieIn Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:To you from failing hands we throwThe torch, be yours to hold it high.If ye break faith with us who dieWe shall not sleep, though poppies growIn Flanders fields.
The general impression in my mind is of a nightmare. We have been in the most bitter of fights. For seventeen days and seventeen nights none of us have had our clothes off, nor our boots even, except occasionally. In all that time while I was awake, gunfire and rifle fire never ceased for sixty seconds ..... And behind it all was the constant background of the sights of the dead, the wounded, the maimed, and a terrible anxiety lest the line should give way.
“We went up Vimy Ridge as Albertans and Nova Scotians. We came down as Canadians.” ~ Veteran