Remembering ‘Canada’s Hundred Days’

Paul-Emile Maisonnevue London 1943. At the time he landed in Normandy, Maisonnevue was Sargent Major in the signal core, using the ‘Enigma Machine’ for decoding German intelligence. At the end of the war, his unit was in Germany heading for Kiel. Maisonnevue will celebrate his 100th birthday in the coming weeks.
Tom Henihan
Express Staff

This year’s Remembrance Day will mark the 100 anniversary of the end of the First World War.

Here in Canada it is also a national occasion to remember what has been called “Canada’s Hundred Days,” refering to Canadian and Newfoundland soldiers’ involvement in a string of successful military offensives, from August 8 1918 to November 11, 1918.

Following many other accomplishment, during that 3 month period beginning with the Battle of Amiens, the Canadians then moved north to Arras, penetrating the Drocourt-Quéant Line on September 2, the Hindenburg Line with the capture of Bourlon Wood on September 27, and then to Cambrai, Mount Houy, Valenciennes and into Mons, Belgium in late October and early November 1918.

In the span of three months, Canadian forces advanced approximately 130 kilometres, took 32,000 German prisoners and captured almost 4,000 pieces of enemy artillery, machine guns and mortars.

This performance in the days leading up to the end of the war, earned thirty Canadians and Newfoundlanders the highest decoration for valour, the Victoria Cross.

Only 21 years would pass until the advent of the Second World War on September 1, 1939.

Once again, Canadian troops went to the battlefields of Europe to make the same sacrifices other Canadians had made just less than a generation earlier.

On Remembrance Day, society acknowledges the debt of gratitude it owes to veterans.

However, to ensure that veterans’ sacrifices are not in vain we should emulate them, do as they did and relinquish all self-interest.

Don Fish grew up in McLennan, joined the RCAF in 9 and retired in 1983 with the rank of Flight Lieutenant. He then worked for Sacred Heart Hospital in McLennan as an EMT for about 25 years until his retirement. Don was a life member of the Royal Canadian Legion and a very active member of the McLennan branch.
Ray Cunningham during a Remembrance day service at McLennan Elks Hall.

 

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