#Vimy101 – The Vimy Memorial

Allward with his chosen stone delivered to Vimy Ridge.
Credit: W. and M. le Chat., National Gallery of Canada.
Allward in the Seget limestone quarry.
Credit: Library and Archives Canada

#Vimy101 – Did you know, sculptor Walter Allward spent two years travelling the world in search of the perfect stone to be used on the Vimy Memorial. Allward finally found it, Seget limestone, in an old Roman quarry in Yugoslavia (modern-day Croatia). A total of 6,000 tons of stone would travel by water to Venice, and then by rail to Vimy. The Canada Bereft figure was cut from a single block weighing 28 tons!

The block of stone for Canada bereft is lifted into position.
Credit: National Gallery of Canada.

#Vimy101 – #DYK

#Vimy101 – Did you know, in an April 2015 poll, 5% of Canadians said that they, or a member of their family, were planning to travel to France in 2017 for the centennial of the Battle of Vimy Ridge and the unveiling of the new Vimy Education Centre.

Were you there for #Vimy100?

Source: IPSOS Reid Poll for The Vimy Foundation, April 2015.

#100DaysofVimy – March 20th, 2017
Ethelbert 'Curley' Christian

Curley seated with fellow disabled veterans during the 1936 Vimy Pilgrimage.
Courtesy: Private Collection.

Ethelbert ‘Curley’ Christian was born in the USA in the 1880’s (the recorded date and location vary by source). A man on the move, Curley traveled extensively in his early years while working. In 1915, Curley was in Selkirk, Manitoba when he enlisted with the 108th Battalion (Selkirk) of the Canadian Expeditionary Force. Nicknamed “Curley” by his mother for the curls in his hair, Curley even signed his Attestation Papers as such.

Once overseas, Curley was transferred to the 78th Battalion (Winnipeg Grenadiers). During the Battle of Vimy Ridge in April 1917, Curley was severely wounded, likely from artillery fire, and, according to his family’s account, was buried in mud and debris for two days. When he was finally discovered underneath the debris, gangrene had set in his wounds, prompting doctors to amputate all four of his limbs. Fortunately, Curley would survive the horrific ordeal and return to Canada as the nation’s sole quadruple amputee of the First World War.

Curley’s cheerful disposition enabled him to become a champion of war amputees.
Courtesy: Private Collection.

Forever a man on the move, Curley was not to be slowed down by the loss of his limbs. In post-war Canada, he became a sort of public figure, championing initiatives for the care of war amputees and disabled. While recovering at Euclid Hall in Toronto, he met a nursing aid, Cleopatra McPherson; the two would marry in 1920 and raise a child. In 1936, Curley boarded the S.S. Montrose and returned to Europe with the Royal Canadian Legion’s Vimy Pilgrimage. During the unveiling of the Vimy Memorial, Curley broke through the crowds and guards to introduce King Edward VIII to the blinded veterans.

Ethelbert ‘Curley’ Christian passed away on March 15th, 1954, at approximately 70 years of age. He is buried in the Prospect Cemetery section of the Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Toronto.

In this note from his Service File, Curley claims that “the two artificial legs forwarded me by the limb factory at the Dunnsville (sic) Military Hospital are not satisfactory, and I want the privilege of selecting the style and make of my legs.” (Editor’s Note: He may be referring to the Haldimand War Memorial Hospital, in Dunnville, Ontario est. 1920).
Credit: Personnel Records of the First World War, Library and Archives Canada, Reference Number: RG 150, Accession 1992-93/166, Box 1695 – 54. Item Number: 100301.
Nicknamed “Curley” by his mother for the curls in his hair, Ethelbert “Curley” Christian even signed his Attestation Papers as such.
Credit: Personnel Records of the First World War, Library and Archives Canada, Reference Number: RG 150, Accession 1992-93/166, Box 1695 – 54. Item Number: 100301.

Vimy 100 In The Classroom
New Video - "Maps"

Check out our brand new Vimy 100 in the Classroom video on maps during the First World War! Stay tuned, we’ll be sharing the second video tomorrow. Special thank you to Sound Venture Productions for their support on this project!

This short video is part of our new Vimy 100 in the Classroom learning modules, learn more here : https://www.vimyfoundation.ca/pr…/vimy-100-in-the-classroom/


25 December 1917

Credit: Canada. Dept. of National Defence/Library and Archives Canada/PA-005059 (modified from the original). Colourized by Canadian Colour.

On this day 100 years ago many Canadian servicemen and nurses celebrated Christmas abroad, from the hospital wards to the trenches. This Christmas Day photo was taken in 1917 at the Duchess of Connaught Canadian Red Cross Hospital in Taplow, England.

Wishing you a happy and peaceful time with family and friends this Holiday Season!

Today’s photograph has been colourized as part of The Vimy Foundation’s First World War In Colour project. Learn more about this project and see more photos by visiting https://www.vimyfoundation.ca/projects/.

#YearInReview – Opening of the Vimy Visitor Education Centre

Credit: Pascal Brunet, The Vimy Foundation 2017.

#YearInReview – 2017 saw the opening of the new Vimy Visitor Education Centre, thanks to our many generous supporters, including: The George and Helen Vari Foundation, Canso Investment Counsel Ltd., Lysander Funds, John & Kim Carswell Family, Bell Canada, Veterans Affairs Canada, The W. Garfield Weston Foundation, Power Corporation of Canada, EF Tours Canada, Tim Hortons, Scotiabank, BMO Canada, CIBC, RBC, TD Canada, & ZSA Recruitment! #Vimy100

Credit: Pascal Brunet, The Vimy Foundation 2017.
Credit: Pascal Brunet, The Vimy Foundation 2017.
Credit: Pascal Brunet, The Vimy Foundation 2017.


#YearInReview – Canadian Flag from Parliament Hill – 9 April 2017

#YearInReview – The Vimy Foundation was fortunate to receive the Canadian flag that flew at half-mast over Parliament Hill on April 9th, 2017, marking #Vimy100. Thank-you to Judy Foote, former Minister of Public Services and Procurment Canada, for sharing this piece of Canadian history with us!

Do you have a special Remembrance Moment from 2017? Share it with us on our social media pages!
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/VimyFoundation/
Twitter : @vimyfoundation
Instagram : @vimyfoundation

Beaverbrook Vimy Prize Blog – 21 August 2017

Saying our goodbyes, including Franky, our trusty bus driver the last two weeks!
Credit: Hanna Smyth, Vimy Foundation 2017.

After 13 informative and incredible days, our BVP2017 students said their goodbyes and departed for home early this morning. Paul was seen off at the metro for his return to Boulogne and Lala was accompanied to the Gare-du-Nord for her homebound train to Sutton. The Canadian participants and chaperones bid their bus driver Franky farewell at Charles De Gaulle airport and boarded their plane to Toronto. The Vimy Foundation would like to thank our chaperone team and everyone who helped to make the 2017 Beaverbrook Vimy Prize program and incredible experience for our 16 newly minted Beaverbrook Vimy Prize alumni. For the last blog entry of BVP2017, we asked our new alumni to describe the program in one word. Here is what they said:

(Please note: the students blog in their language of preference)


Lala Israfilova, Carshalton, Sutton, United Kingdom


-Paul Toquebouef, Boulogne, France


-Claire Belliveau, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia


-Katy Whitfield, Toronto, Ontario


-Evan Kanter, Toronto, Ontario


-Abbey Garrett, Conception Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador


-Cecilia Kim, Surrey, British Columbia


-Maddy Burgess, Bow Island, Alberta


-Ariadne Douglas, Prince George, British Columbia


-Enshia Li, Richmond Hill, Ontario


-Hanna Smyth, Richmond, British Columbia 


-David Alexander, Pointe-Claire, Quebec


-Alisia Pan, North York, Ontario


-Patricia Kennedy, Fredericton, New Brunswick


-Rachel Collishaw, Ottawa, Ontario

Le temps

-Yaman Awad, Anjou, Quebec


-Thomas Littlewood, Ottawa, Ontario


-Eric Jose, Oshawa, Ontario


-Cole Oien, Calgary, Alberta


-Daniel Schindel, Surrey, British Columbia