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Vimy Oak sapling planted in Wellington honours Canada’s role on the Ridge

Four prestigious Vimy Oak saplings are being planted throughout the Bay of Quinte region. Thursday, MP Ellis presented Prince Edward County with one of the four saplings, honouring Canada’s role in capturing Vimy Ridge, during the First World War.

“Just as a tree is best measured when it is down, the strength of a nation is best measured by the ability of its people to rise up and meet, then overcome, significant obstacles together,” said Ellis. “However high these Vimy Oaks may grow, we hope they serve as mighty reminders, to us all, of the immense sacrifice and fortitude of all our Canadian defence community members and our veterans.”

The other saplings will be located in Quinte West, at Bain Park near the Afghanistan Repatriation Memorial; at Albert College and in Belleville’s Memorial Park.

As a keepsake from his term of service, Canadian soldier Lieutenant Leslie Miller removed acorns from a fallen oak tree at the Ridge. He sent these home to be planted, on his farm, in Scarborough. The trees which eventually flourished were named The Vimy Oaks. Today, 10 trees survive on that original woodlot property, as a testament to Miller’s ingenuity and foresight to help future generations remember this legacy.

In 2017, to mark the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, the saplings produced from The Vimy Oaks are being be used to replenish the Vimy Foundation Centennial Park, in France, and also serve as commemorative trees all across Canada.

The Battle of Vimy Ridge, located on the northern part of the wider battle of Arras, began at 5:30 am on Easter Monday, April 9, 1917. It was the first occasion all four divisions of the Canadian Corps attacked as a composite formation. The Canadian achievement in capturing Vimy Ridge owed its success to a range of technical and tactical innovations, powerful artillery preparation, meticulous planning and thorough preparation.
A total of 3,598 casualties were sustained by the 10,602 Canadian troops involved.
The Canadian National Vimy Memorial on Vimy Ridge marks the site of this Canadian achievement and stands as a tribute to all who served their country in battle and risked or gave their lives in the First World War.

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