First World War in the News is an edited review of hand-picked World War I (1914-1918) articles - covering everything from the soldiers and generals to the trenches and militaria.

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From Soldiers to Generals
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The Great War -era
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::: 1914 Christmas truce
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World War II

Vimy Ridge

Latest hand-picked First World War news.

Story Galleries A Brief History of Vimy
See the Battle of Vimy Ridge related artwork, posters, plaster models and information about the Canadian National Vimy Memorial monument.

Swingers make love, not war, at Vimy Ridge WW1 Memorial
The Canadian National Vimy Memorial in France has become a meeting place for those looking for kinky sex. A couple appeared at the court in Arras on charges of sexual exhibitionism at the First World War memorial. A spokesman for Veterans Affairs Minister said the Canadian govt hopes court will send a message that "inappropriate behaviour will not be tolerated." La Voix du Nord noted the inconsideration of people indulging in acts on sacred grounds. "In the minds of Canadians, the historical site of Vimy nearly marks the birth of their country. If we dare sully the memory of those soldiers who died during WWI, it's the whole country that we sully."

Vimy Ridge: A Canadian Reassessment
The battle for Vimy Ridge inhabits a special place in Canadian history and mythology. In the 90 years since the attack on Vimy Ridge, fact and fiction have blended to create a national legend. But do the facts support that status? 18 authors and historians dug into the battle to create the most comprehensive examination of the Battle of Vimy Ridge to date. They say the legend has overshadowed the fact that Vimy was only one objective in the much wider Battle of Arras. This attack on 24km of the heavily fortified Hindenburg Line was largely unsuccessful, leading many German Imperial Army regiments to state that Vimy was not a defeat, but a draw.

Vimy Ridge refought: farm transformed into battlefield for documentary   (Article no longer available from the original source)
A scene out of World War One magically appeared in Mike Elines' backyard. For 5 days, the Cookstown area farmer hosted the crew filming a portion of a Vimy Ridge documentary. "Canadian MIA Fallen Hero" (the working title) will air on History TV around Remembrance Day. Before the crew arrived, Elines cleared 4-6 inches of topsoil off a 150x200 area behind his barn and, with the help of the film's historical consultant Gord Lacco, dug the trenches with a backhoe and moved dirt around so filming could take place in a contained area.

59% of Canadians don't know the name of the iconic WW1 clash
Canadians have a limited grasp of their military history, poll indicates, as 59% of Canadians don't even know the name of the iconic First World War clash the Battle of Vimy Ridge. When told "Canada's most famous single victory in the First World War consisted of the capture of a key ridge on the Western front" and asked to name the battle, only 41% could come up with the name Vimy Ridge. Canadians also have a poor knowledge of the Great War heroes - with only 34% identifying both Sir Arthur Currie, commander of the Canadian Corps, and Air Marshall (Billy) Bishop, a Canadian flying ace.

3 fallen Canadian soldiers found near historic Vimy battleground
The remains of three Canadian soldiers killed in World War 1 have been unearthed from an old battlefield near the French town of Hallu, not far from the site where thousands of Canadians are gathering to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the country's landmark 1917 victory at Vimy Ridge. News of the find also comes as officials and relatives of another WWI soldier Pte. Herbert Peterson prepare to bury his recently discovered remains during a ceremony at a French military cemetery.

Officials scramble to fix errors on plaques at Vimy memorial
Canadian officials are struggling to correct a number of glaring French grammar mistakes and spelling errors on plaques erected at the new war memorial in Vimy Ridge. The errors are included on plaques detailing the battle which were prepared by volunteers. The mistakes range from misspelled words to badly conjugated verbs and phrases that are not part of the French vernacular. A spokesman said volunteers are responsible for the gaffes. Colonel Michel Drapeau said the mistake reflects badly on Canada and its appreciation of veterans. It also makes Canada look unprofessional at a time when the world is watching.

Letters from The Battle of Vimy Ridge - Part four: John Newton
John Newton served overseas with the Canadian Field Artillery. -- April 10, 1917: Cold & wet with snow in the afternoon. Went forward to the O.P. in Counts Wood to act as F.O.O. The snipers were busy and got several of the infantry who were foolishly exposing themselves. In the afternoon the Hun commenced shelling the Wood so I & the telephonists decided to take refuge in an old German dugout about 100 yds in front. We carried our wire across this exposed place snipers bullets whizzing around. ... We were then only 100 yds from our new front line which was on the far side of the steep hill. The view was magnificient could see into Hun territory for several miles.

Even Adolf Hitler saw beauty in Vimy Ridge memorial
Among the people who've marvelled at the great Canadian monument on Vimy Ridge, none are as infamous (and largely forgotten) as Adolf Hitler. This weekend, thousands of visitors will gather there for a grand ceremony. And what many pilgrims won't know is that the monument itself, which some consider the greatest war memorial ever built, has a turbulent history all its own. Vimy was one of 8 battlefield sites where Canada sought permission to build memorials in honour of its 66,000 fallen soldiers in the Great War. While Britain, Australia and South Africa hired a group to construct their battlefield monuments, Ottawa took a different approach.

Vimy commander's medals donated to Canadian War Museum
British commander Sir Julian Byng earned a place in Canadian history when he led the Canadian Corps to victory in the First World War battle at Vimy Ridge. Now the medals he earned in that battle and others have found an important place at the Canadian War Museum. On Monday, Byng's military honours were donated to the Canadian War Museum by collector Dale Murray. During the famous 4-day battle that began April 9, 1917, Canadian troops successfully took back from the Germans a strategic escarpment, where 150,000 French and British soldiers had died trying to achieve the same goal.

Book launches timed for Vimy Ridge anniversary
On April 9, it will have been 90 years since Canadians captured Vimy Ridge, making it the only successful Allied offensive in 1917 and a significant tactical victory during World War One. It was the first time Canadian soldiers fought as Canadians and not as part of another Allied force. Some believe it helped Canada to discover its pride in country. Hugh Brewster wrote At Vimy Ridge, a pictorial about the battle. Ted Barris, author of novel Victory at Vimy, wanted to write about Vimy because there wasn't enough stories told from the perspective of the men who did the "grunt" work: "I wanted to hear the voice of the citizen soldier."

Arthur Currie - Commanded in the Battle of Vimy Ridge in WW1   (Article no longer available from the original source)
The general Arthur Currie, who commanded troops in the Canadian Corps` Battle of Vimy Ridge in World War 1, began his military career as a part-time soldier in the artillery militia unit now known as the 5th(BC) Field Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery. He commanded the unit 1909-1913. When his tour of command ended, he was asked to raise a kilted infantry unit. Currie then became the first commanding officer of the 50th Gordon Highlanders, which became the 16th Canadian Scottish in the First World War. Prior to WW1, Currie ran into some trouble after defrauding his regiment of money. One account suggests he did it to buy new uniforms...