Hill 62 Memorial
|Canadian Hill 62 (Sanctuary Wood) Memorial|
Hill 62 (Sanctuary Wood) Memorial
|For the Canadian participation in the Defence of Ypres between April and August, 1916 and commemoration of the Canadian dead of that period.|
near Ieper (formerly Ypres), Belgium
The Canadian Hill 62 (Sanctuary Wood) Memorial is a war memorial that commemorates the actions of the Canadian Corps in defending the southern stretches of the Ypres Salient between April and August 1916 including actions in battle at the St. Eloi Craters, Hill 62, Mount Sorrel and Sanctuary Wood. These battles marked the first occasion in which Canadian divisions engaged in planned offensive operations during World War I. In those actions the Canadians reconquered vital high-ground positions that denied the Germans a commanding view of the town of Ypres itself.
The memorial is located beside Sanctuary Wood on the top of Mount Sorrel, which lies next to 'Hill 62' all of which the Canadians held or recaptured from the Germans during those offensive operations in early June 1916. The British Official History of the war recorded "The first Canadian deliberately planned attack in any force, had resulted in an unqualified success."
The Canadian Battlefield Monument Commission established after the Great War was appointed to select the location and design of the memorials to commemorate the Canadian participation in the First World War. The Canadian National Vimy Memorial at Vimy Ridge was selected as the national memorial site and seven other locations at Hill 62, St. Julien and Passchendaele in Belgium, as well as Le Quesnel, Dury, Courcelette and Bourlon Wood in France were chosen to commemorate significant battles the Canadian Expeditionary Force had engaged in. Each of the seven sites were to have an identical granite block inscribed with a brief description of the battle in both English and French.
The competition jury (which notably included Arthur Currie ) that chose Walter Allward's monument design that ultimately became the Canadian National Vimy Memorial had originally envisioned Alward's design being built atop Hill 62, but members of the Department of Militia and Defense and Prime Minister W.L. Mackenzie King favoured Vimy. Ultimately, Hill 62 receive the standard 'granite block' memorial instead of Alward's white towering pylons.
Description and location
The Hill 62 (Sanctuary Wood) Memorial site is located a few minutes east of Ypres, Belgium at the end of the Canadalaan (Canada Lane) which runs south off of the N8 road to Menen. The memorial park is made up of a beautiful series of three terraced gardens leading up the hillside to the hilltop where the grey granite block monument sits in a grassed circle on a low flagstone terrace.
- Jacqueline Hucker (2012). "Monuments of the First and Second World Wars". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Historica Foundation. Retrieved 2012-07-26.
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