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Vimy Ridge Was Decisive

Heroes Remember

Vimy Ridge Was Decisive

We were at Vimy Ridge you know and that was one of the, really the deciding factors of the war as it turned out. The Imperials had been attempting to take it for some time, but the Canadians spent the winter digging, tunneling you see and then come up behind the Germans, you see, while they were held down as it were, but the tunneling went on. And of course, the problem was what to do with the earth you take out of these tunnels. So, we built it into forts as it were, false forts, you see. Put a pole through there like the muzzle of a gun, you see. And build it into that and of course, they'd keep knocking them down thinking that they were real, you see. The Germans felt that if they couldn't hold Vimy Ridge they couldn't win the war and it was the Canadians that took Vimy Ridge away from them. The men of course were highly elated over it, you see, because it was considered impregnable. And to the German soldiers, the prisoners, we found they'd had a hard time with and they were just anxious to get something to eat because they were short of rations. They'd been cut off from rations and all that kind of thing for some time, you see, on short rations and we found that the prisoners were quite disheartened as it were.

Mr. Boyce describes the value of tunnels to the eventual success of the Canadian assault on Vimy, and discusses the demoralization of the defeated German prisoners.

Harry Boyce

Harry Boyce was born in Bonshaw, Prince Edward Island on September 4, 1893. After moving to Regina to work as an architect, he returned to P.E.I. to enlist with the 8th Canadian Siege Battery. He trained in Charlottetown then went overseas and continued his training at Aldershot, England, where he specialized on the 8-inch siege gun, which fired a 200 pound shell. In the autumn of 1915 he was sent to France and served during the Somme, Vimy Ridge and Le Preol. He was gassed and repatriated to Canada.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Harry Boyce
War, Conflict or Mission:
First World War
Warrant Officer

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