August 4 to November 11, 1918 has come to be
known as "Canada's
Hundred Days", for in this period the Canadian Corps
was in the vanguard
of the successful march to Mons.
When the Allied advance began the Canadian Corps
was assigned the task
of spearheading an attack on an important salient near
Amiens on August
8. Utter secrecy was vital since the Germans had
come to regard any
movement of Canadian troops as a sign of imminent
attack. To deceive the
enemy part of the corps was sent north to the Ypres
section. After making
their presence known to the Germans they hurried back
Preparations for battle were carried out at night, and
there was no
preliminary bombardment to warn the enemy of impending
was complete. Flanked by Australians and French,
and spearheaded by
tanks, the Canadians advanced twelve miles in three
days. The morale of
the German High Command was badly shaken. In Ludendorff's
August 8 was the "black day of the German army".
Between August 26 and September 2, in hard continuous
Canadian Corps fought through strong German positions
to the heavily
fortified line of the Canal du Nord. Assisted by fifteen
tanks from the
British Tanks Corps, they successfully crossed
this formidable barrier. A
breakthrough of the German defences had finally
been achieved. Victory
was not far off. Early in October Cambrai was taken in
one of the
bloodiest battles of the war. Then, in an uninterrupted
Canadians fought their way through Valenciennes,
Mont Houy and reached historic Mons, on the day the armistice
The war was over.
The Canadian troops remained in Europe to share
in the allied occupation.
They crossed the Rhine into Germany at Bonn where Sir
was accorded the distinction of taking the salute in
honour of Canadian
finally, in 1919 the Canadian troops came home where
they were greeted
by grateful and enthusiastic crowds in cities and
towns across the
My Grandfather survived the gassing but it did permanent
to his lungs. He was shipped back to a Canadian Military
and began the last few years of his life struggling to
He died at the age of 39 from lung damage.
My Father was 10 years old.
Canadian First World
Monty, as he was called by those
with other soldiers in Military
after the war.