Veterans Affairs Canada

Veterans Affairs Canada

November 10, 2008 15:43 ET

Minister Thompson Marks 91st Anniversary of the Battle of Passchendaele

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 10, 2008) - The Honourable Greg Thompson, Minister of Veterans Affairs, issued the following statement today regarding the 91st anniversary of the Battle of Passchendaele.

"The word Passchendaele means many different things to Canadians. It represents both triumph and sacrifice. It represents both perseverance and bravery. Those who have seen Paul Gross' epic film Passchendaele are reminded of the horrors faced by the Canadians in 1917, and of what represents true Canadian valour. This year marks the 91st anniversary of the Battle of Passchendaele.

This year also marks the 90th anniversary of the end of the First World War. Canada's contribution to the First World War helped define Canada as a nation and shape the country we live in today. The values for which Canadians fought during the First World War are the same values Canada's men and women in uniform are still defending around the world in troubled places such as Afghanistan.

In 1917, after three gruelling months and under extremely harsh conditions, the Canadian Corps captured the town of Passchendaele on November 10. Canada's success in the battle played a significant role in ending the First World War, but it came at a high price-12,000 Canadian soldiers were wounded and more than 4,000 died. Because of Canada's significant achievements and sacrifices, Passchendaele occupies an important place in Canadian military history. Ten Victoria Crosses were awarded during the Battle of Passchendaele, confirming the heroic determination and skill of Canadian soldiers in the bitter struggle."

For more information on Canada's contribution in the Battle of Passchendaele, visit the Veterans Affairs Canada Web site at www.vac-acc.gc.ca.

Contact Information

  • Veterans Affairs Canada
    Janice Summerby
    Media Relations Advisor
    613-992-7468
    or
    Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs
    Richard Roik
    Director of Communications
    613-996-4649