Well-attended Hill 70 ceremony
Over 100 people attended the Battle of Hill 70 commemoration ceremony held in Mountain on Aug. 27. Thompson Goddard photo
Carolyn Thompson Goddard
MOUNTAIN – One hundred years ago, young men from across Canada participated in a World War I battle near Lens, France, which has become known as the Battle of Hill 70. The Canadian assault on Hill 70 that lasted for 10 days in August 1917 is sometimes referred to as a forgotten battle but is considered to have been a strategically important victory.
On Sun., Aug. 27, the Township of North Dundas, Mountain and District Lions Club and Royal Canadian Legion Branch 108 hosted a commemorative service at the only Canadian memorial to the Battle of Hill 70, which is located in Mountain Memorial Park in the North Dundas community of Mountain.
Dignitaries included Stormont Dundas and South Glengarry MP Guy Lauzon, SDSG MPP Jim McDonell, representatives of the SDG Highlanders, the Princess of Wales Own Regiment, Brockville Rifles, and the Governor General’s Foot Guards.
Governor Shelley Gauthier, of Lions District A4, was in attendance and commented on her appreciation for the work done by the Mountain and District Lions Club on this project. She said this type of project highlights the type of work done by Lion Clubs in their communities.
SDG Highlander Honourary LCol John Denner mentioned it was a great honour to be representing the Unit at this event. Township of North Dundas Mayor Eric Duncan added there was great pride felt by the community for the monuments to Hill 70 at this site. The original memorial was constructed in the early 1920s and in 2012 the Mountain and District Lions Club created a project to enhance the earlier memorial.
The event included a wreath-laying ceremony, a reading of the fallen soldiers from local communities during the Battle of Hill 70, and historical information on this First World War battle. The Regimental Museum of the SDG Highlanders provided historical information on Hill 70 during a post-ceremony reception.
Overseas in many lonely graves lie the men and women who fought and died so we might enjoy freedom. We will remember them!