Gala to com­mem­o­rate WWI bat­tle of Hill 70

The Peterborough Examiner - - NEWS - JASON BAIN EX­AM­INER STAFF WRITER jabain@post­media.com

A his­tor­i­cal event that is lesser­known than the cap­ture of Vimy Ridge by Cana­dian troops in the First World War, but per­haps equally im­por­tant, will be com­mem­o­rated dur­ing a gala event com­ing to the Peter­bor­ough Ar­moury this April.

Or­ga­niz­ers of the Bat­tle of Hill 70 Gala point out that there is noth­ing in Loos-en- Go­helle, where the cap­ture took place in Au­gust 1917, to com­mem­o­rate the his­toric vic­tory. Six Vic­to­ria Cross’ we awarded at Hill 70, while four were awarded at Vimy Ridge.

The Princess of Wales’ Own Reg­i­ment from Kingston has stepped for­ward to change this dur­ing this spe­cial an­niver­sary year and the Hast­ings and Prince Ed­ward Reg­i­ment have promised to as­sist the en­deav­our, or­ga­niz­ers stated.

The gala, which will be at­tended by Lieu­tenant Gover­nor of On­tario El­iz­a­beth Dowdeswell, has a goal of rais­ing $25,000 to­wards a cam­paign to erect a suit­able monument in France.

Funds raised in ex­cess of what is needed for the monument will be set aside for the fu­ture needs of present and for­mer Hast­ing and Prince Ed­ward Reg­i­ment mem­bers through its trust fund, or­ga­niz­ers stated in a press re­lease.

The guest speaker for the evening will be Craig Les­lie Man­tle, who brings an ex­ten­sive back­ground in teach­ing and mil­i­tary his­tory.

He spe­cial­izes in post-1945 his­tory and has con­ducted more than 30 oral his­tory in­ter­views with vet­er­ans of re­cent con­flicts and was in­stru­men­tal in adding a num­ber of im­por­tant ar­ti­facts to the na­tional col­lec­tion, or­ga­niz­ers stated.

Man­tle’s most re­cent book, In Their Own Words: Cana­dian Sto­ries of Val­our and Brav­ery from Afghanistan 2001-2007, was pub­lished in 2013. It of­fers the firstper­son re­flec­tions of 23 Cana­dian sol­diers who were rec­og­nized for their ac­tions over­seas with some of the nation’s high­est hon­ours.

The gala takes place April 7 start­ing at 7 p.m.

Tick­ets are $150 per per­son and are avail­able by email­ing bat­tle­ofhill70­gala@gmail.com or call­ing 705-745-0647. A wall of names, the sim­ple Cana­dian war memo­rial at Vimy Ridge over­look­ing the French towns of Lens and Lille it com­mem­o­rates the 1917 bat­tle for Hill 70 in the First World War. There are 11,500 names in­scribed in the memo­rial base. The 100th an­niver­sary of the bat­tle will be marked April 7 at a gala at the Peter­bor­ough Ar­moury.

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