Letter From Vimy
By Gordon MacKinnon
The envelope of my grandfather’s last letter to my uncle, Private Ronald MacKinnon of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, dated April 5, 1917, is marked “Return to Sender: Deceased: Killed in Action 9.4.17.” He was one of 3,598 Canadians killed in the epic battle that marked Canada’s most important WW I victory and achieved a new recognition for the nation.
The Canadians, four divisions strong, did the impossible that snowy Easter Monday morning. They broke the fearsome German Hindenburg Line at Vimy Ridge in northeastern France, something neither British nor French troops had been able to do in repeated attacks over the previous three years. After months of meticulous preparation the worst of it was over by nightfall...