OTTAWA, April 22, 2014 /CNW/ - The Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of Veterans Affairs, made the following statement today on the occasion of the 99th anniversary of the Second Battle of Ypres:
"April 24 marks the 99th anniversary of the Second Battle of Ypres during which Canadians were the target of direct gas attacks. In that first Canadian engagement on a European battlefield, many soldiers gave their lives defending the Ypres Salient, in Belgium.
"On that occasion, Canadian soldiers experienced their first poison gas attack, as well as facing the shells and machine-gun fire of the German forces. In spite of a fierce offensive, they managed to hold their ground until reinforcements arrived.
"Today we are proud of those valiant Canadians who took part in the First World War, serving their country in the cause of peace and freedom."
For additional information on the Battle of Ypres, please visit: veterans.gc.ca/eng/remembrance/history/first-world-war/canada/canada4.
SOURCE: Veterans Affairs Canada
For further information:
Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs
Veterans Affairs Canada