CAF personnel arrive in Europe to support commemorations for 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War


Posted on Thursday, November 8, 2018

OTTAWA - A 200-member strong Canadian Armed Forces’ (CAF) contingent has arrived in Lille, France to join and support the Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) – led Government of Canada official delegation in France and Belgium to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.

Canadian representatives in Europe will participate alongside international hosts and partners to mark the anniversary of the Armistice and celebrate Canada’s contribution to the restoration of freedom and peace in Europe a century ago. Highlights of the week-long program include:

Friday, November 9
Armistice Candlelight Ceremony, Canadian National Vimy Memorial.

Saturday, November 10
Private George Price Monument inauguration ceremony, Le Roeulx, Belgium.

Sunday, November 11
Ville de Mons Liberation Parade and commemoration ceremony, Mons, Belgium.

The deployment is part of Operation DISTINCTION, the CAF contribution to the Government of Canada’s commemoration program.

“The courage and valour of those who served in the first half of the 20th century is reflected in the continued tradition of service by today’s members of the Canadian Armed Forces,” said Lieutenant-General Michael Rouleau, Commander of Canadian Joint Operations Command. “The young men and women I have the pleasure of commanding on operations, at home and around the world, are from the same stock and have the same strength of will and values as those whom we honour. We will not forget their sacrifices.”

More than 650,000 men and women from Canada and Newfoundland served during the First World War. More than 66,000 gave their lives and over 172,000 were wounded.

Approximately 70 Canadians were awarded the Victoria Cross for “most conspicuous bravery in the presence of the enemy” during the First World War.

The last soldier of the British Commonwealth killed in combat during the First World War was Canadian, Private George Lawrence Price. He was fatally shot by a sniper two minutes before the Armistice on 11 November 1918.

Canada’s Hundred Days is the name given to the offensive campaign undertaken by the 100,000 strong Canadian Corps that contributed to the Allied victory. It began with the Battle of Amiens, France, on 8 August and concluded with the Canadians liberating the Ville de Mons on 11 November 1918..