April 9, 2017 marks the centenary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge. The battle for Vimy Ridge is an especially significant event for Canada; it was the first time all four divisions of the Canadian Expeditionary Force participated in a battle together and the 56th Field regiment was a key part of the artillery forces at Vimy. The Canadians’ meticulous planning and innovative use of artillery carried the day and became a symbol of Canadian national achievement and sacrifice.
On Sunday, April 9, the second play in Vincent Ball’s World War I series: Veteran of Vimy will be performed at the Brantford Armoury. Veteran of Vimy takes place in the 60s and follows a young student’s attempt to get the true story out of a local veteran. Together, they find a new appreciation for each other’s efforts.
There will be two performances at 2pm and 7:30pm, and visitors who come early can enjoy guided tours of the newly renovated Sergeant William Merrifield VC Armoury hosted by the Brant Historical Society. A gala dinner is also taking place at 5pm on April 9, which will feature Six Nations singers and dancers, and authentic First Nations cuisine. Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors and students, and $10 for veterans. Tickets for the gala dinner, which includes the evening performance and a signed copy of the play, are $75.
Partners for the Veteran of Vimy project include Brant Theatre Workshops, Brant Historical Society, Woodland Cultural Centre, Sanderson Centre for the Performing Arts, Great War Centenary Association – Brantford, Brant County, Six Nations, and the 56th Field Artillery Regiment.
For those who are particularly interested in the role of the community in World War I, the Great War Centenary Association, Brantford, Brant County, Six Nations is an excellent organization to connect with; they work to preserve, and make available to the public, a permanent and evolving record of our community’s involvement during the First World War. The GWCA’s We Remember online database provides information about those individuals from Brantford, Brant County, and Six Nations during the First World War. Visitors can use this resource online to learn more about Arthur Daiken, for example, who lived at 11 Drummond Street in Brantford. Daiken was wounded during the Battle of Vimy; his brother, Arden, was unfortunately one of the 3,600 who lost their lives during this battle. A records search of his name also brings up family photographs, and letters home to his mother during WWI.
Photo: Design by Octopus Red.