Article written by Warrant Officer Brent McNair, CSM “A” Company, RMR
Rotorura, New Zealand – 09 April 2017: The eight-man team of The Royal Montreal Regiment, a contingent of Australian Defence Forces and the 3/6 BN of the Royal New Zealand Regiment commemorated the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge together at the Rotorura Mauri Cénotaph on the 9th of April 2017.
The commemoration was led by WO McNair who described the Battle of Vimy Ridge and the role in which the RMR played in the decisive battle. Reading excerpts from the Regimental History, the preparation for the battle was described in detail, down to what each individual soldier was tasked to carry.
100 years removed and half way across the world the cost of victory was not lost on the group of young soldiers. The 14th BN (RMR) on the first day lost 98 RMR soldiers and 178 wounded, which was half of the BN’s effective strength at that time. Overall the Canadian contingent suffered 3 598 dead and 7 000 wounded while taking the 8km escarpment that had been so bitterly defended by the enemy.
The short ceremony was one of the many activities that have been undertaken by the soldiers from Canada, New Zealand and Australia. The goal has been to share experiences not only in tactics, training and procedures in the field but also to share cultures, customs, traditions and history of our respective units.