Canadian National Vimy Memorial

Vimy, France

The Canadian National Vimy Memorial is a war memorial site in France dedicated to the memory of Canadian Expeditionary Force members killed during the First World War. It also serves as the place of commemoration for Canadian soldiers of the First World War killed or presumed dead in France who have no known grave. The monument is the centrepiece of a 100-hectare (250-acre) preserved battlefield park that encompasses a portion of the ground over which the Canadian Corps made their assault during the initial Battle of Vimy Ridge offensive of the Battle of Arras.The imposing structure was designed by Walter Allward, one of Canada’s most famous sculptors, whose commissions included the national memorial commemorating Canada’s participation in the South African War (1899-1902).

The Battle of Vimy Ridge was the first time all four divisions of the Canadian Expeditionary Force participated in a battle as a cohesive formation, and it became a Canadian national symbol of achievement and sacrifice. France ceded to Canada perpetual use of a portion of land on Vimy Ridge on the understanding that Canada use the land to establish a battlefield park and memorial. Wartime tunnels, trenches, craters, and unexploded munitions still honeycomb the grounds of the site, which remains largely closed off for reasons of public safety. Along with preserved trench lines, several other memorials and cemeteries are contained within the park.

The project took designer Walter Seymour Allward eleven years to build. King Edward VIII unveiled it on 26 July 1936 in the presence of French President Albert Lebrun and a crowd of over 50,000 people, including 6,200 attendees from Canada. Following an extensive multi-year restoration, Queen Elizabeth II re-dedicated the monument on 9 April 2007 at a ceremony commemorating the 90th anniversary of the battle. The site is maintained by Veterans Affairs Canada. The Vimy Memorial is one of only two National Historic Sites of Canada located outside the country, the other being the Beaumont-Hamel Newfoundland Memorial.



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Founded: 1936
Category: Statues in France

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User Reviews

Hilary Neal (3 years ago)
Canadian Military; visited on Remembrance Day. A very unique, somber experience. Highly recommend visiting.
Farsin Derakhshan (3 years ago)
For any Canadian in the area, this is a must see visit. Great memorial and good visitors center (staffed by Canadians). Especially like the trenches.
Derya Dilmen (3 years ago)
It is not only a monument you see from the images. It is a park with trails and beautiful views. Worth to see.
Michael Hardie (3 years ago)
Such a beautiful memorial site. Very well maintained. Was a great experience.
Christophe Dhondt (3 years ago)
A truly amazing site. The mourning mother, ‘Canada Bereft’ is a masterpiece. No matter from which direction you look at her, it sends shivers down your spine and tears form. Such a moving monument for a generation which had to endure so much, for all fighting nations which lost the bossoming flower of their youth.
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