Great War 100 Reads

Commemorating the centenary of the First World War in books

Monday Monuments and Memorials – Canadian Battlefield Memorial, Dury, France

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Last Wednesday, 8 August, marked the centenary of the first day of the Battle of Amiens, and what would become the 100 Days Offensive that lead to the Armistice. Some refer to this period as Canada’s 100 Days, because of the role of the Canadian Corps during the offensive.

One measure of success is the ground gained by the Canadians. Another is the number of Victoria Crosses awarded for valour: four Canadian VCs on day one of the Battle of Amiens; four more on day two; a total of 29 for Canadians in the last 100 days.* Success came with a heavy cost, however: the Canadian Corps suffered 45,835 casualties.

Of the nine battlefield memorials commemorating the WW1 service of Canadian and Newfoundland troops in France, three mark key milestones in Canada’s 100 Days:

Le Quesnel

The Canadian Corps one hundred thousand strong on 8th August 1918 attacked between Hourges and Villers-Bretonneux and drove the enemy eastward for eight miles

L’Armée canadienne forte de 100,000 hommes attaqua l’ennemi le 8 aout 1918 entre Hourges et Villers – Bretonneux et le rejeta vers l’est sur une profondeur de treize kilomètres


The Canadian Corps 100,000 strong attacked at Arras on August 26th 1918, stormed successive German lines and here on Sept. 2nd broke and turned the main German position on the Western Front and reached the Canal du Nord

L’Armée Canadienne attaqua l’ennemi à Arras le 26 aout 1918, enfonça successivement toutes les positions allemandes : puis le 2 septembre brisa ici même la fameuse ligne Quéant – Drocourt réputée imprenable et avança jusqu’au canal du Nord

Bourlon Wood

The Canadian Corps on 27th Sep. 1918 forced the Canal Du Nord and captured this hill. They took Cambrai, Denain, Valenciennes & Mons; then marched to the Rhine with the victorious Allies

Le 27 sept. 1918 l’Armée canadienne franchit le canal du Nord et conquit cette hauteur. Elle prit Cambrai, Denain, Valenciennes & Mons: puis avança jusqu’au Rhin avec les alliés victorieux

The Dury Memorial, on Route D939 between Route de Bapaume and Rue du Bust-Doré, is pictured above.

The Canadian government describes the memorials and their settings as “low-keyed, dignified and restrained.” They are, indeed, compared to the Vimy Memorial, the Brooding Soldier at St Julien and the Newfoundland Caribou monuments at Beaumont-Hamel and elsewhere.

The memorials are massive blocks of Quebec granite, carved on two sides with wreathes of maple leaves. The other two sides describe the battle, in English and French. The plinths read, “Honour to Canadians who on the fields of Flanders and of France fought in the cause of the Allies with sacrifice and devotion.”

* Not to mention the only VC awarded to a Newfoundlander … always counted separately in WW1, as Newfoundland was still a separate Dominion.

Three more massive block memorials commemorate Courcelette, Mount Sorrel (Hill 62, Sanctuary Wood) and Passchendaele.

Author: greatwar100reads

Canadian crusader for equality and justice. Connoisseur and creator of the written word. Commemorating the centenary of the First World War in books and monuments. Read more at

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