Using Primary Sources
How do we know what we know? Example: Vimy Ridge
Pack horses taking up ammunition to the guns of the 20th Battery Canadian Field Artillery, Neuville St. Vaast, April 1917.
Official Announcement by the Canadian War Records Office on the Battle of Vimy Ridge, April 1917
Source: Source Records of the Great War, Vol. V, ed. Charles F. Horne, National Alumni 1923
"Advancing through "No Man's Land," April 1917.
Photos from Collections Canada
Silent News Reel -- Canadians Capture Vimy Ridge
Video - Donald Fraser - We were there
"This government-made film was made shortly after the battle for Vimy Ridge and was probably circulated to movie theatres across Canada. It uses some elaborate animation to dramatize Canadian troop movements. Since actual battle footage was rarely available, most scenes commonly seen in First World War documentaries are from staged re-enactments.
Library and Archives Canada
Graphic Consultants Collection
Can 4252, 4251"
The Pimple, Evening by
Alexander Young Jackson
Beaverbrook Collection of War Art
The Crest of Vimy Ridge by Gyrth RussellBeaverbrook Collection of War Art CVM 19710261-0617Memorial
The Taking of Vimy Ridge, Easter Monday 1917
by Richard Jack
Beaverbrook Collection of War Art
A Cemetery on Vimy Ridge by Lieutenant Frederick Thwaites Bush. Beaverbrook Collection of War Art CVM 19710261-0116
"This map shows Vimy Ridge and surrounding areas in January-February 1917 with British trenches in blue and German trenches in red. Note the complexity of the trench systems by this point in the war, and the density of opposing lines around Givenchy to the north.
George Metcalf Archival Collection. CWM 19890227-021" (This description is taken from the Canadian War Museum site.)
"This hand-drawn map indicates some of the hundreds of trenches that crisscrossed Vimy Ridge. These trenches lay in the 4th Division's sector n the left (north) of the Canadian lines. Although the trenches would have had German names (since they built them) the Canadians renamed the trenches under an easy-to-remember system where they all begin with "R". Other sectors would have had trenches identified beginning with different letters. These hand-drawn maps, although crude, were important for soldiers to situate themselves in the chaos of battle, and often as they advanced through the underground trenches, and therefore without the benefit of a birds-eye view of the battlefield.
George Metcalf Archival Collection. CWM 19810903-001" (This description is taken from the Canadian War Museum site.)
BOOKS IN THE GLEBE LIBRARY
940. 431 BRE At Vimy Ridge: Canada’s Greatest World War I Victory by Hugh Brewster
Lots of good photo and quotes from leaders and servicemen, maps
940 .48 MAC A Soldier’s Diary by Donald Stuart MacPherson
Diary includes Vimy
940 .431 CHR Winning the Ridge: The Canadians at Vimy Ridge, 1917 by N.M. Christie
An account of the war including quotes and diary entries
971 .062 NEL A Nation is Born: World War I and Independence 1910-1929 by Sheila Nelson
Nice blend of the details of Vimy/WWI and activities and sentiments on the homefront.
971 .06 KIR Canada at War by Dylan Kirk
Brief pages but some good photos, cartoons, etc.
971 .061 CRA The Years of Agony 1910/1920 by John Craig.
One volume of Canada’s Illustrated Heritage series by decade. Very good series for primary source materials.
OTHER GOOD WEBSITES
Canadian National Vimy Memorial, Veterans Affairs Canada
War Diaries: The Battle of Vimy Ridge, April 9-12, 1917, Library and Archives Canada