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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

About the Vimy Ridge flag


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The famous Vimy Ridge flag housed in the Imperial War Museum was carried in a Canadian  soldier's pack and supposedly flown on the battlefield, is there any evidence that the flag was actually flown, or is it only oral history? 


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It is certainly plausible although I have not run across an account. I would reach out to Tim Cook at the Canadian War Museum. He has written extensively on the Battle for Vimy Ridge. From my research on unit, brigade and division monuments erected after battle DURING the first world war, that 34 of the 67 memorial markers/cairns erected were for the Battle for Vimy Ridge. I am also working on a paper on Lord Beaverbrooks involvement in propagandizing the Battle through the extensive pre battle coordination he did with General Byng. For example, Vimy Ridge is the first battle that Lord Beaverbrooks artists and photographers deployed to the field to document the battle. In comparison, the Somme has very few photos because the British prohibited camera possession by the soldiers after the start of the Battle of the Somme and it took Beaverbrook the rest of the summer and fall to put together a photographer unit. So, to summarize, a top-down directed propaganda exercise existed for Vimy Ridge so it would not be too far to imagine a Red Ensign being carried forward by Divisions and Brigades let alone soldiers. Nothing as dramatic though as the American flag raising on Iwo Jima in WW2.

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