1 Old Bristolians
Vimy Ridge (CWGC, 2016)
The Vimy Memorial is a major landmark. The memorial itself is massive, but it dominates the Douai Plain because of its situation at the edge of Vimy Ridge. It commemorates the Canadian soldiers who were killed in the Great War but have no known graves. It was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, unveiled in 1936 and stands on land which France has given to Canada so that it is in fact Canadian soil. Canadian soldiers fought throughout the war along the Western Front, but the victory for which the Canadian Army is best remembered is the battle for Vimy Ridge. So the steep rise to Vimy Ridge which gives the Memorial its prominence is sadly also the reason why so many died.
The monument is the centrepiece of a 100-hectare (250-acre) preserved battlefield park that encompasses a portion of the ground over which the Canadian Corps made their assault during the Battle of Vimy Ridge, a military engagement fought as part of the Battle of Arras. Wartime tunnels, trenches, craters and unexploded munitions still honeycomb the grounds of the site, which remains largely closed off for reasons of public safety. Along with preserved trench lines, a number of other memorials and cemeteries are contained within the site.
The memorial took monument designer Walter Seymour Allward eleven years to build. King Edward VIII unveiled the memorial on 26 July 1936, in the presence of French President Albert Lebrun, 50,000 or more Canadian and French veterans, and their families.
Following an extensive multi-year restoration, Queen Elizabeth II rededicated the memorial on 9 April 2007 during a ceremony commemorating the 90th anniversary of the battle. The memorial site is one of two National Historic Sites of Canada located outside of Canada and is maintained by Veterans Affairs Canada (the other is the Beaumont-Hamel Newfoundland Memorial).
Martin was born on 27/03/1883, and attended the School from 1893-1898. He served as a Major in the Army, with the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (Eastern Ontario). Martin sadly lost his life on 15/09/1916, as a result of the War.
MacKinnon did not attend Bristol Grammar School, however one hundred years later his great nephew, Roderick MacKinnon is Headmaster of BGS.
MacKinnon was born on 20/03/1892. He served as a Private in the Canadian Infantry, 13th Bn. MacKinnon sadly lost his life on 23/05/1915, as a result of the War.
Daniel was killed in action in these circumstances:
During an action at Festubert, he was with a gun crew which remained in the trenches an additional 36 hours after his Battalion had been relieved. Whilst standing near the gun in the front line trench at about 8.45 o’clock on the evening of May 23rd 1915, he was shot through the head by a bullet and instantly killed.