Sunday, November 18, 2018

Pushing Forward

The drive towards Cambrai had started with the Battle of Arras and led to the Battle Of The Canal du Nord, a breakthrough made by the Canadians, acting as the spearhead of the British First Army, on September 27th, 1918. Engineering crews were vital in enabling the combined arms assault that saw the Canadians breach the last defensive line before Cambrai and a major part of the Hindenburg Line.

The Battle of Cambrai as it unfolded ended with the Allies liberating the city on October 11th. Photographs of the battle and its aftermath were on the walls here.

This panel, accompanied by medals, tells of Captain John McGregor, a Victoria Cross winner who showed exceptional courage in the fights around Cambrai, and surviving the war.

In the heart of this space is a Vickers machine gun. These were operated by a crew of three, and proved to be vital in the Cambrai campaign in repelling German counter attacks.

With Cambrai liberated and the remnants of the German army falling back before the Allies across the line, the final stage of the war was next to be presented in this exhibit. Canadians moved into Belgium in the final month of the war, towards the city of Mons.

For today I leave off with this print by Paul Nash, part of the Museum's collection. Men Marching At Night is its title.


  1. I've appreciated your recent posts because I'm not familiar with this martial Canadian history, the battles, their locations, etc. I didn't realize Canada was as deeply involved in WW1 and your material suggests.

  2. Hello Willam.
    Great post ! Thank you for sharing all those informations about the Canadian history in the WW1,and for the pictures!
    Enjoy your day!

  3. Interessanter Beitrag zur Geschichte schön das es nicht vergessen wird.


  4. The enormous devastations as they can be seen on different photos, and all those dead ... horrifying!

  5. ...will we ever learn from this history?

  6. Hello, I agree with Tom above. Will we ever learn from history. Thanks for sharing this post. Happy Sunday, have a great day and new week ahead.

  7. @Lowell: Canada served from the start and was heavily involved throughout.

    @Dimi: you're welcome.

    @Noke: thank you.

    @Jan: quite true.

    @Tom: when indeed.

    @Eileen: thank you.

    @Francisco: thanks!

  8. It took a long time for the Allied forces to be in a position for the final assault. Looking at the photos closely, it was a different age and technology.

  9. with history we learn ...from what we did right and what we need to change. i wish folks would see that. we might not be able to change it completely ...we can grow, learn, and understand where it might should have gone and such. we should not erase it ... that does not change it ... u know. hope that all make sense. thanks for sharing. ( ;

  10. tout le monde fête le centenaire de la 1 ere guerre

  11. Good photos. It takes a breath and tear for the heart to grasp what war has done to the brave who fought for Peace.

  12. Wonderful historical info and photos too!

    Happy Day to you,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  13. Again I thank you for educating me about Canada's role in WWI. It's shameful how little of this is taught in American schools and colleges. I hope you have a great week ahead. :-)

  14. A wonderful history lesson accompanied by your wonderful photos.
    Thank you, William.

  15. Will we ever learn from History?

    This is another very informative post William, thank you.

    All the best Jan

  16. You have done a fine job highlighting all of the sacrifices our brave soldiers made. Thank you, William!

  17. I recently read about the American revolution. Warfare changes but the human toll is always devastating.

  18. @Red: that it was.

    @Beth: well said.

    @Marleen: the Hundred Days were tough for both sides, all along the line.

    @Bergson: how many of us will be around for the centenary of the Second World War?

    @Maywyn: it does indeed.

    @Carol: thank you!

    @DJan: you're welcome.

    @Bill: a pleasure to do so.

    @Jan: we seem to ignore the lessons.

    @RedPat: this was quite an exhibit.

    @Kay: and to think that less than a century after that war, Americans went to kill each other- with weapons that were much better, but with tactics that weren't that different. It's the same with the First World War- Napoleonic era tactics against modern weaponry like the machine gun.

  19. I don't know of the Battle of Cambrai. Thanks for telling us!

  20. Imagine having survived the war only to die in these last few months.