OTTAWA, Aug. 8, 2018 /CNW/ - The Honourable Seamus O'Regan, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, issued the following statement today on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Amiens and the beginning of Canada's Hundred Days:
"The last hundred days of the First World War were marked by a series of defining moments in Canadian military history that saw the Canadian Corps cement their reputation as one of the most effective fighting forces on the Western Front.
"Soon after the outbreak of the war in August 1914, fighting on the Western Front devolved into bitter trench warfare. Following a series of German offensives in March 1918 aimed at breaking the stalemate, the Allies launched their own offensive in August 1918. The Canadian Corps bravely led an attack at Amiens on August 8, advancing an incredible 20 kilometres in three days.
"By the end of the Last Hundred Days, the Canadian Corps had advanced more than 130 kilometres, taking roughly 32,000 German prisoners and capturing almost 3,800 enemy artillery pieces, machine guns, and mortars.
"However, their continued success following the Battle of Amiens came at great cost. The Canadian Corps suffered more than 45,000 casualties between August 8 and the signing of the Armistice on November 11, 1918. In the process, 30 Canadians and Newfoundlanders were awarded the Victoria Cross, the highest military award for valour.
"In 2018, the Battle of Amiens will be commemorated in France and in Canada with events that are supported by the Canadian Armed Forces and Veterans Affairs Canada.
"The courage and valour of those who served in the First World War are reflected in the continued tradition of service by today's Canadian Armed Forces. Their sacrifices allow us to lead the lives we do today.
"Lest we forget."
SOURCE Veterans Affairs Canada