Canadian Military Cemetery - Great War - Eastern Plot
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
This Cemetery was originally commissioned in 1917 for Canadian Expeditionary Forces fighting in the Great War and then held 311 burials. It was extended to hold a further 100 Canadian casualties of World War 2. Over 2000 Canadians who died in the Second World War are buried in the seperate dedicted cemetery to the west.
By September 1914 the Candian Expeditionary Force had organised its divisional structure when 33,000 men embarked for Plymouth, England arriving in October with the first Canadian unit placed in France in December with a Division in France by Februry 1915. That year the Division countered the first use by Germany of poison gas. The Canadian Corps of 4 divisions formed a distinct fighting force. French Canadians, a third of the population, were less enthusiastic about joining the war. Canadian government responses eventually led to brutal clashes with French Canadians. Around 35,000 French Canadians enlisted of whom about 6,000 served with the French speaking 22nd.
The Corps fought to an impressive victory at Vimy Ridge, lost 16,000 men at Passchendale and later over ran the "impregnable" Hindenburg line and marched into Germany and through the streets of Cologne on 13th December 1918. Canadians served in the Middle East and from 1918 to 1919 in Siberia. By the close of hostilities and from a largely non-military beginning Canada had formed an effective, professional and successful fighting force.
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