FDC Canadian Pilgrimage to the unveiling of Canada’s National War Memorial on Vimy Ridge and to the battlefields of France and Belgium July 1936
France #312 26 July 1936 FDC to Vancouver, B.C.
Lot 128 in our Auction Saturday 9th February 2019
The 1936 Vimy Pilgrimage Eric Brown and Tim Cook
“This article explores the significance of the 1936 Vimy Pilgrimage. More than 6,200 Canadian veterans and their families voyaged to France for the unveiling of Walter Allward’s Vimy Memorial on 26 July 1936 by King Edward VIII. The symbolism of the pilgrimage, along with the messages presented during the unveiling ceremony, played a key role in establishing the importance of the Vimy Ridge memorial to Canadians.
“Sunday, 26 July, was a warm, sunny day. Beginning soon after dawn, pilgrims converged on the ridge. Marty Botel, who was travelling with her veteran husband Harry, and daughter Frances, wrote in her diary of the advance to the ridge: “The memorial on Vimy is a beautiful and impressive structure. We saw it from various points of vantage as we drove along the road, and gleaming white in the sunlight it seemed to dominate the landscape for miles and miles.”
Read the article here: Brown-and-Cook-Vimy-Pilgrimage-v-2
Armée de l’Air performed a flyover of Vimy during the ceremony.
“The pilgrimage did not end on 26 July, although that day was surely the highlight of the tour. Buses transported veterans to the battlefields, with most of the pilgrims moving north to Ypres, visiting cemeteries on the way. For Sir Robert Borden, Canada’s wartime prime minister, he found the visits to the war graves “much more solemn and impressive and moved me more deeply than the unveiling ceremony at Vimy.”