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Vimy Ridge, 44th Bn Memorial, The Pimple, April 1917

by Zoot Rollo

November 2, 2014

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The Pimple, one of two high points on Vimy Ridge, was stormed and captured on April 11th 1917 by Canadians led by Brigadier-General Edward Hillier, an Alberta rancher.

“The men of the 44th Battalion move out to the assault in a blinding snow storm, the expanse of mud is well-nigh impassable — and slows down the advance to 20 yards a minute … The powerfully reinforced enemy garrison in the German reserve line has escaped the fury of the barrage in well-protected dugouts — and now presents a determined resistance.”

Lieut. E.S.Russenholt. Six Thousand Canadian Men (1932)

In a war where success was measured by a few metres, the 44th Battalion advanced 4,095 metres. The Canadian army suffered 10,602 killed and 7,004 wounded during the Battle of Vimy Ridge, of which ‘The Pimple’ was a small but successful component.

Harry Palmer’s photo captures a moment on the ridge, not of grandeur but of sacrifice, not a celebration but a memory.

All of Harry’s work may be viewed at APortaitofCanada.ca

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