Canada’s monument to her 11,285 soldiers reported lost on French soil during the Great War stands at the heart of a 107-hectare park overlooking the Pas-de-Calais coal basin. Built at the place where, in April 1917, Canadian troops fighting as part of the British Army captured Vimy Ridge, the memorial’s white pylons and sculpted figures mark a defining event in the history of Canada. (For more information, check Shelley Cameron McCarron’s journal).
Standing alongside the French National War Cemetery at Notre-Dame-de-Lorette, this monument bears on the inside of its elliptical walls the names of almost 580,000 soldiers of both sides, in alphabetical order and without any reference to nationality, rank or religion. Perched on a plateau overlooking the village of Ablain- Saint-Nazaire, the memorial is an appeal to the citizens of today to remember the ravages of the Great War and to protect the fragile equilibrium of peace. (For more information, check Shelley Cameron McCarron’s journal).
Between Lens and Arras, the Artois Hills are home to numerous memorial sites created to pay homage to the men of the French army who fell in the region, particularly in the offensives of May and September 1915. Notre-Dame-de-Lorette National Necropolis in Ablain-Saint-Nazaire, with 20,000 graves, and another 22,000 bodies of other soldiers in ossuaries, remains the largest military cemetery in France.