Article written by Private Sean Pickles
Westmount, Quebec – 27 March 2022: In August 1914, the Canadian Expeditionary Force was created, one month later, the 14th Battalion was born, and 107 odd years later, the Royal Montreal Regiment, the continuation of that great battalion, gathered on our Parade square in preparation for a trip to Ottawa on 20 November 2021 to learn about those that came before us, Lest We Forget.
We were greeted at the door by three gentlemen, all of whom have made it their focus to continue the stories of those that cannot tell their own. We learned of Nine Elms, standing 20 some strong ourselves in the Memorial Hall, and how 75 Members of our very own regiment had perished while ensuring victory on Vimy Ridge. Their ultimate sacrifice uniting Canadian’s and putting the responsibilities on all of us who were visiting into clear view.
As modern soldiers, we saw uniforms that were not much more than felt, helmets that were as thin as sheet metal, and examples of sanitary conditions that seem a far cry from where the Canadian Forces grew over the last Century. We also saw the integrity of these men, their leaders, and the unique responsibilities and training given to lower enlisted, ensuring victories that conventional forces at the time were unable to take. We were all filled with Pride at the ingenuity of these men in the face of adversity and their courage during the great war, and proud to share the same Cap Badge of those 75 at Nine Elms.
I do not believe that any of us who attended that trip could forget the details we learned of the strength, discipline, and courage of these men that loved and were loved, and I know for a fact that we all will hold our torch up high as we continue to keep faith with all those lost in the Wars.