Sint-Elooi is a small village, about 5 km south of Ypres in the Flemish province of West-Vlaanderen in Belgium. The former municipality is now part of Ypres. Though Sint-Elooi is the Dutch and only official name, the village's French name, St. Eloi, is most used in English due to its role in World War I; the village and the nearby locations of Voormezele and Hollebeke were merged into Zillebeke in 1970 and into Ypres in 1976. The village takes its name from Saint Eligius (also Eloy or Loye, French: Éloi, c. 588–660 who worked for twenty years to convert the pagan population of Flanders to Christianity. In World War I, like other parts of the Ypres Salient, the village was the site of the Battles of Ypres between German and Allied forces. From the spring of 1915, there was constant underground fighting in the Ypres Salient at Hooge, Hill 60, Railway Wood, Sanctuary Wood, The Bluff and St Eloi; the Germans built an extensive system of defensive tunnels and were mining against the British trenches at the intermediate levels.
In March 1915, they fired mines under the elevated area known as The Mound just south-east of St Eloi and in the ensuing fighting, in which units of the British 27th Division participated, the British infantry suffered some 500 casualties. A month on 14 April 1915, the Germans fired another mine producing a crater over 20 m in diameter. Counter-mining by the tunnelling companies of the Royal Engineers began at St Eloi in spring 1915. Much of the mining in this sector was done by the 177th Tunnelling Company and the 172nd Tunnelling Company; the geology of the Ypres Salient featured a characteristic layer of sandy clay, which put heavy pressures of water and wet sand on the underground works and made deep mining difficult. In autumn of 1915, 172nd Tunnelling Company managed to sink shafts through the sandy clay at a depth of 7.0 metres down to dry blue clay at a depth of 13 metres, ideal for tunneling, from where they continued to drive galleries towards the German lines at a depth of 18 metres.
This constituted a major achievement in mining technique and gave the Royal Engineers a significant advantage over their German counterparts. After German successes at The Bluff, the British decided to use the deep mines created by 172nd Tunnelling Company at St Eloi in a local operation and six charges were fired. However, the accompanying British infantry operation was a failure; the Canadian HMCS St. Eloi was named after the battle. After the Actions of St Eloi Craters and counter-mining at St Eloi continued at a pace. In preparation of the Battle of Messines in 1917, the British began a mining offensive against the German lines to the south of Ypres. Twenty-six deep mines were dug by Tunnelling companies of the Royal Engineers, most of which were detonated on 7 June 1917, creating 19 large craters; the largest of these mines was at St Eloi, dug by the 1st Canadian Tunnelling Company. The work was begun with a deep shaft named Queen Victoria and the chamber was set 42 metres below ground, at the end of a gallery 408 metres long and charged with 43,400 kilograms of ammonal.
Building preparations had started on 16 August 1915 and the mine was completed on 11 June 1916. When the large St Eloi deep mine was fired by the 1st Canadian Tunnelling Company on 7 June 1917, it destroyed some of the earlier craters from 1916, although a double crater can still be seen; the successful detonation allowed the capture of the German lines at St Eloi by the British 41st Division. The area was fought over again during the Second World War. On 27 May 1940, the 17th Brigade of the British 5th Infantry Division stopped the advance of three German divisions at Hill 60, which enabled the British to make a general withdrawal towards St. Eloi and Dikkebus. On a small square in the centre of Sint-Elooi stands the'Monument to the St Eloi Tunnellers', unveiled on 11 November 2001; the brick plinth bears transparent plaques with details of the mining activities by 172nd Tunnelling Company and an extract from the poem Trenches: St Eloi by the war poet T. E. Hulme. There is a flagpole with the British flag next to it, in 2003 an artillery gun was added to the memorial.
During World War I, David Bomberg painted Sappers at Work: A Canadian Tunnelling Company, Hill 60, St Eloi, which bears a reference to both St Eloi/Sint-Elooi and the 1st Canadian Tunnelling Company. The war poet T. E. Hulme wrote the poem Trenches: St Eloi; the story Herbert West–Reanimator by H. P. Lovecraft mentions the town as the site of a hospital where the titular character performs experiments during World War I. Battle of Messines Mines in the Battle of Messines List of Canadian battles during the First World War St. Eloi Mountain, Canada The Battle of St. Eloi Craters
Saint Julien Memorial
The St. Julien Memorial is a Canadian war memorial and small commemorative park located in the village of Saint-Julien, Belgium; the memorial commemorates the Canadian First Division's participation in the Second Battle of Ypres of World War I which included fighting in the face of the first poison gas attacks along the Western Front. Frederick Chapman Clemesha's sculpture, the Brooding Soldier, was selected to serve as the central feature of the monument following a design competition organized by the Canadian Battlefield Monument Commission in 1920; the village of Saint Julien and a section of forested land called Saint Julien Wood was at a pronounced bend in the north east sector of the Ypres Salient prior to the Second Battle of Ypres. The area was the junction between the British and French sectors of responsibility; the Canadian First Division was assigned the most northern section of the British line and to their left, the 45th Division held the southernmost end of the French line. The German Army had brought forward 168 tons of chlorine gas deployed in 5,730 cylinders buried in front of their trenches, opposite Langemark-Poelkapelle, north of Ypres.
The Canadians, moved into their positions only a few days earlier were manning the lines for several hundred metres along a front to the southwest of St. Julien when the German Army unleashed the first poison gas attack on the Western Front on 22 April 1915. Pushed towards the Allied lines by a wind from the north, the initial gas attack drifted to the north and west of the Canadian lines, into the trenches of the French colonial troops of the French 45th and 87th Divisions, of 26th Reserve Corps; the gas drifted across positions held French colonial troops who broke ranks and abandoned their trenches after witnessing the early casualties, creating an 8,000 yard gap in the Allied line. The German infantry were wary of the gas and, lacking reinforcements, failed to exploit the break before the First Canadian Division and assorted French troops reformed the line in scattered, hastily prepared positions 1,000 to 3,000 yards apart. In actions at Kitcheners Wood, Mauser Ridge, Pilkem Ridge and Gravenstafel Ridge the Canadians held the line and prevented a German breakthrough until they were relieved by reinforcements on the 24 April.
In the 48 crucial hours that they held the line, 6,035 Canadians - or one man in every three who went into battle - became casualties. At the end of the war, The Imperial War Graves Commission granted Canada eight sites - five in France and three in Belgium - on which to erect memorials; each site represented a significant Canadian engagement in the war and for this reason it was decided that each battlefield would be treated and graced with identical monuments. The Canadian Battlefields Memorials Commission was formed in November 1920 and decided a competition would be held to select the design of the memorial that would be used at the eight European sites. In October 1922, the submission of Toronto sculptor and designer Walter Seymour Allward was selected as the winner of the competition, the submission of Frederick Chapman Clemesha placed second; the commission decided Allward's monumental design would be used at Vimy Ridge in France as it was the most dramatic location. Clemesha's'Brooding Soldier' design was selected for the remaining sites but was for a number of reasons, erected only at Saint Julien in Belgium.
The remaining six sites at Passchendaele, Hill 62 in Belgium and Le Quesnel, Dury and Bourlon Wood in France each received an identical Canadian granite block memorial marker, differentiated only with brief inscriptions that describe the battle they commemorate in English and French on their sides. The blocks are situated in small parks that vary in shape and design and are situated on key points of the battlefield they memorialize; the memorial at Saint Julien was unveiled on 8 July 1923 by Prince Arthur, the Duke of Connaught and the tribute was made by French Marshal Ferdinand Foch, former Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers on the Western Front. In his address, Foch stated, they wrote here the first page in that Book of Glory, the history of their participation in the war." After their completion in the mid-1920s, the sites became links in a chain of memorials that included 900+ Commonwealth cemeteries, making a road of remembrance or via dolorosa. The memorial is found on the northern fringe of the village of Saint Julien at the intersection of the N313 road and Zonnebekestraat.
During the war, the location where the memorial is located was known as Vancouver Corner. Visible for miles around, the memorial stands 11 metres tall. The'Brooding Soldier' column rises from a low circular flagstone terrace and is sculpted at its top to form the bowed head and shoulders of a Canadian soldier; the soldier's hands resting are on the butt of his down-turned rifle in the'arms reversed' position, a pose used as gesture of mourning and respect for the fallen performed at funerals and services of remembrance. Surrounding the column and central terrace are gardens of tall cedars trimmed into the shape of artillery shells and low cut cedars trimmed to look like shell explosions; some of the soil that nourishes the gardens of the memorial was brought from various locations from across Canada to represent the broad spectrum of Canadian men who fought shoulder to shoulder on the battlefields of 1915. A replica of Clemesha's St-Julien monument was incorporated into
Belgium the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe. It is bordered by the Netherlands to the north, Germany to the east, Luxembourg to the southeast, France to the southwest, the North Sea to the northwest, it has a population of more than 11.4 million. The capital and largest city is Brussels; the sovereign state is a federal constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system. Its institutional organisation is structured on both regional and linguistic grounds, it is divided into three autonomous regions: Flanders in the north, Wallonia in the south, the Brussels-Capital Region. Brussels is the smallest and most densely populated region, as well as the richest region in terms of GDP per capita. Belgium is home to two main linguistic groups or Communities: the Dutch-speaking Flemish Community, which constitutes about 59 percent of the population, the French-speaking Community, which comprises about 40 percent of all Belgians. A small German-speaking Community, numbering around one percent, exists in the East Cantons.
The Brussels-Capital Region is bilingual, although French is the dominant language. Belgium's linguistic diversity and related political conflicts are reflected in its political history and complex system of governance, made up of six different governments. Belgium was part of an area known as the Low Countries, a somewhat larger region than the current Benelux group of states that included parts of northern France and western Germany, its name is derived after the Roman province of Gallia Belgica. From the end of the Middle Ages until the 17th century, the area of Belgium was a prosperous and cosmopolitan centre of commerce and culture. Between the 16th and early 19th centuries, Belgium served as the battleground between many European powers, earning the moniker the "Battlefield of Europe", a reputation strengthened by both world wars; the country emerged in 1830 following the Belgian Revolution. Belgium participated in the Industrial Revolution and, during the course of the 20th century, possessed a number of colonies in Africa.
The second half of the 20th century was marked by rising tensions between the Dutch-speaking and the French-speaking citizens fueled by differences in language and culture and the unequal economic development of Flanders and Wallonia. This continuing antagonism has led to several far-reaching reforms, resulting in a transition from a unitary to a federal arrangement during the period from 1970 to 1993. Despite the reforms, tensions between the groups have remained, if not increased. Unemployment in Wallonia is more than double that of Flanders. Belgium is one of the six founding countries of the European Union and hosts the official seats of the European Commission, the Council of the European Union, the European Council, as well as a seat of the European Parliament in the country's capital, Brussels. Belgium is a founding member of the Eurozone, NATO, OECD, WTO, a part of the trilateral Benelux Union and the Schengen Area. Brussels hosts several of the EU's official seats as well as the headquarters of many major international organizations such as NATO.
Belgium is a developed country, with an advanced high-income economy. It has high standards of living, quality of life, education, is categorized as "very high" in the Human Development Index, it ranks as one of the safest or most peaceful countries in the world. The name "Belgium" is derived from Gallia Belgica, a Roman province in the northernmost part of Gaul that before Roman invasion in 100 BC, was inhabited by the Belgae, a mix of Celtic and Germanic peoples. A gradual immigration by Germanic Frankish tribes during the 5th century brought the area under the rule of the Merovingian kings. A gradual shift of power during the 8th century led the kingdom of the Franks to evolve into the Carolingian Empire; the Treaty of Verdun in 843 divided the region into Middle and West Francia and therefore into a set of more or less independent fiefdoms which, during the Middle Ages, were vassals either of the King of France or of the Holy Roman Emperor. Many of these fiefdoms were united in the Burgundian Netherlands of the 15th centuries.
Emperor Charles V extended the personal union of the Seventeen Provinces in the 1540s, making it far more than a personal union by the Pragmatic Sanction of 1549 and increased his influence over the Prince-Bishopric of Liège. The Eighty Years' War divided the Low Countries into the northern United Provinces and the Southern Netherlands; the latter were ruled successively by the Spanish and the Austrian Habsburgs and comprised most of modern Belgium. This was the theatre of most Franco-Spanish and Franco-Austrian wars during the 17th and 18th centuries. Following the campaigns of 1794 in the French Revolutionary Wars, the Low Countries—including territories that were never nominally under Habsburg rule, such as the Prince-Bishopric of Liège—were annexed by the French First Republic, ending Austrian rule in the region; the reunification of the Low Countries as the United Kingdom of the Netherlands occurred at the dissolution of the First French Empire in 1815, after the defeat of Napo
Sanctuary Wood Museum Hill 62
The Sanctuary Wood Museum Hill 62, 3 km east of Ypres, Belgium is a private museum located in the neighbourhood of the Canadian Hill 62 Memorial and the Sanctuary Wood Cemetery. The museum is owned by Jacques Schier, the grandson of the farmer who founded the museum and owned the site of the museum since before World War I and left it as he had founded it, it has a collection of World War ] items, including a rare collection of 3-dimensional photographs, weapons and bombs. A preserved section of the British trench lines is located behind the museum; the museum has a small bar, café and gift shop. Battle of Hill 60 Hill 62 Memorial Battle of Passchendaele Tyne Cot Memorial Museum Hill 62 Sanctuary Wood Pilgrimage to Ypres Sanctuary Wood Museum
The Dury Memorial is a World War I Canadian war memorial that commemorates the actions of the Canadian Corps in the Second Battle of Arras their breakthrough at the Drocourt–Quéant Line switch of the Hindenburg Line just south of the town of Dury. The Drocourt–Quéant Line was a main position in the German Army's defensive position in the area; the action took place on 2 and 3 September 1918 during a period known as the Hundred Days Offensive or Canada's Hundred Days. Noteworthy for such a brief battle was that seven Canadians earned a Victoria Cross on 2 September during the battle; the Canadian Battlefield Monument Commission established after the Great War was appointed to select the location and design of the memorials to commemorate the Canadian participation in the First World War. The Canadian National Vimy Memorial at Vimy Ridge was selected as the national memorial site and seven other locations at Hill 62, St. Julien and Passchendaele in Belgium, as well as Le Quesnel, Dury and Bourlon Wood in France were chosen to commemorate significant battles the Canadian Expeditionary Force had engaged in.
Each of the seven sites were to have an identical granite block inscribed with a brief description of the battle in both English and French. At Dury, the memorial is situated symbolically where the Drocourt–Quéant Line crossed the Arras–Cambrai Road; the Dury Memorial site is a small square park located on the north side of the D939 Route Nationale, south of Dury, between the cities of Arras and Cambrai. Tall, stately maple trees line three edges of the park and well kept lawns surround the low circular flagstone terrace that the granite memorial block rests on. Dury Memorial – Veteran's Affairs Canada Wikimapia satellite image of Dury Memorial site
Royal Newfoundland Regiment
The Royal Newfoundland Regiment is a Primary Reserve infantry regiment of the Canadian Army. It is part of the 5th Canadian Division's 37 Canadian Brigade Group. Predecessor units trace their origins to 1795, since 1949 Royal Newfoundland Regiment has been a unit of the Canadian Army. During the First World War the battalion-sized regiment was the only North American unit to fight in the Gallipoli campaign of 1915. In the war the regiment was wiped out at Beaumont Hamel on July 1, 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme, but was rebuilt and continued to serve throughout France and Belgium until the armistice, serving as part of the British Army of the Rhine in 1919. Since 1916, July 1 has been marked as Memorial Day in Labrador; the government of Canada does not recognize an unbroken lineage of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment to earlier units as there were gaps in existence. However, it recognizes that the regiment commemorates the heritage of previous units. In this respect Canada has awarded three battle honours to the regiment to commemorate the services rendered during the War of 1812 by the Royal Newfoundland Regiment of Fencible Infantry and it recognizes battle honours earned by an early iteration of the regiment during the First World War.
Originated 25 April 1795 when Captain Thomas Skinner of the Royal Engineers was given permission to raise a fencible infantry company consisting of six hundred men. Disbanded March 1802 following the signing of the Treaty of Amiens In June 1803, Brigadier General John Skerrett founds the Royal Newfoundland Regiment of Fencible Infantry. 1824, the Royal Veteran Companies arrived in St. John's Redesignated 1842: the Royal Veteran Companies are renamed the Royal Newfoundland Companies Amalgamated in 1862, the Royal Newfoundland Companies were absorbed into the Royal Canadian Rifle Regiment On 4 September 1914, the 23rd General Assembly of Newfoundland passed an Act authorizing the formation of the Newfoundland Regiment. 25 January 1918, the regiment is renamed Royal Newfoundland Regiment Disbanded on 26 August 1919 Raised in September 1939 as a home defence unit Assigned to Canada's W Force in 1940 Achieved full regimental status in 1943 Sent 47% of its complement overseas with either Newfoundland Royal Artillery unit Originated 24 October 1949 in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, as The Newfoundland Regiment, RCIC Redesignated 14 December 1949 as'Royal Newfoundland Regiment, RCIC Amalgamated 1 March 1961 with the 166th Field Artillery Regiment, RCA, redesignated as Royal Newfoundland Regiment Reorganized 28 March 1974 as a two battalion regiment, consisting of the 1st Battalion with D, E and F companies and the 2nd Battalion with A and B companies Originated 24 October 1949 in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, on 24 October 1949, as the 166th Field Regiment, RCA Redesignated 12 April 1960 as the 166th Field Artillery Regiment, RCA Amalgamated 1 March 1961 with Royal Newfoundland Regiment, RCIC In the list below, battle honours in small capitals are for large operations and campaigns and those in lowercase are for more specific battles.
Bold type indicates honours authorized to be emblazoned on regimental colours Though the Royal Newfoundland Regiment traces its existence to 1795 and the establishment of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment of Foot, its origins are based in the existence of numerous local militia units raised in the colony in the eighteenth century. Prominent Newfoundland militias include Michael Gill's militia in the 1704 defence of Bonavista, the St. Mary's Militia that captured an American privateer during the American Revolution, the 150 Newfoundland militiamen who served with the Royal Highland Emigrants during the Battle of Quebec; as conflict between Revolutionary France and Britain increased in the 1790s, Britain found its overseas colonies threatened from French actions. Facing war on land and lacking the suitable land forces to defend its overseas colonies, in 1795 the British Government ordered Thomas Skinner of the Royal Engineers to raise a regiment for local defence purposes. Skinner was the engineering officer responsible for the construction of defensive positions atop Signal Hill in the aftermath of the French and Indian Wars.
By the following year, strength for the regiment had reached 35 officers and 615 men, organized into ten line infantry companies, one light infantry company, one grenadier company. In September 1796, the French Navy was reported to be sailing for St. John's to invade the city; the ruse was successful. In 1797 the Grenadier Company escorted Governor Waldergrave aboard HMS Latona, the sight of an unsuccessful mutiny attempt. Conditions in Newfoundland were harsh during this time period for the garrison soldiers. Winter food spoiled, a fire at Fort William in 1798 destroyed much of the regiment's bedding and medical supplies, making life that much harder for the soldiers; as a result, the desertion rate was high. Matters for the regiment further worsened in April, 1800 when fifty soldiers loyal to the United Irish Movement attempt to desert en masse from Signal Hill; the alarm was sounded during their attempt, sixteen mutineers were captures. The newly appointed commanding officer, Brigadier John Skerret ordered the five ringleaders hung and the remaining deserters sent by prison ship to Halifax.
Questioning the loyalty of his mostly-Irish soldiers
World War I
World War I known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as "the war to end all wars", it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history, it is one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide. On 28 June 1914, Gavrilo Princip, a Bosnian Serb Yugoslav nationalist, assassinated the Austro-Hungarian heir Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo, leading to the July Crisis. In response, on 23 July Austria-Hungary issued an ultimatum to Serbia. Serbia's reply failed to satisfy the Austrians, the two moved to a war footing. A network of interlocking alliances enlarged the crisis from a bilateral issue in the Balkans to one involving most of Europe.
By July 1914, the great powers of Europe were divided into two coalitions: the Triple Entente—consisting of France and Britain—and the Triple Alliance of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy. Russia felt it necessary to back Serbia and, after Austria-Hungary shelled the Serbian capital of Belgrade on the 28th, partial mobilisation was approved. General Russian mobilisation was announced on the evening of 30 July; when Russia failed to comply, Germany declared war on 1 August in support of Austria-Hungary, with Austria-Hungary following suit on 6th. German strategy for a war on two fronts against France and Russia was to concentrate the bulk of its army in the West to defeat France within four weeks shift forces to the East before Russia could mobilise. On 2 August, Germany demanded free passage through Belgium, an essential element in achieving a quick victory over France; when this was refused, German forces invaded Belgium on 3 August and declared war on France the same day. On 12 August and France declared war on Austria-Hungary.
In November 1914, the Ottoman Empire entered the war on the side of the Alliance, opening fronts in the Caucasus and the Sinai Peninsula. The war was fought in and drew upon each power's colonial empire as well, spreading the conflict to Africa and across the globe; the Entente and its allies would become known as the Allied Powers, while the grouping of Austria-Hungary and their allies would become known as the Central Powers. The German advance into France was halted at the Battle of the Marne and by the end of 1914, the Western Front settled into a battle of attrition, marked by a long series of trench lines that changed little until 1917. In 1915, Italy opened a front in the Alps. Bulgaria joined the Central Powers in 1915 and Greece joined the Allies in 1917, expanding the war in the Balkans; the United States remained neutral, although by doing nothing to prevent the Allies from procuring American supplies whilst the Allied blockade prevented the Germans from doing the same the U. S. became an important supplier of war material to the Allies.
After the sinking of American merchant ships by German submarines, the revelation that the Germans were trying to incite Mexico to make war on the United States, the U. S. declared war on Germany on 6 April 1917. Trained American forces would not begin arriving at the front in large numbers until mid-1918, but the American Expeditionary Force would reach some two million troops. Though Serbia was defeated in 1915, Romania joined the Allied Powers in 1916 only to be defeated in 1917, none of the great powers were knocked out of the war until 1918; the 1917 February Revolution in Russia replaced the Tsarist autocracy with the Provisional Government, but continuing discontent at the cost of the war led to the October Revolution, the creation of the Soviet Socialist Republic, the signing of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk by the new government in March 1918, ending Russia's involvement in the war. This allowed the transfer of large numbers of German troops from the East to the Western Front, resulting in the German March 1918 Offensive.
This offensive was successful, but the Allies rallied and drove the Germans back in their Hundred Days Offensive. Bulgaria was the first Central Power to sign an armistice—the Armistice of Salonica on 29 September 1918. On 30 October, the Ottoman Empire capitulated. On 4 November, the Austro-Hungarian empire agreed to the Armistice of Villa Giusti after being decisively defeated by Italy in the Battle of Vittorio Veneto. With its allies defeated, revolution at home, the military no longer willing to fight, Kaiser Wilhelm abdicated on 9 November and Germany signed an armistice on 11 November 1918. World War I was a significant turning point in the political, cultural and social climate of the world; the war and its immediate aftermath sparked numerous uprisings. The Big Four (Britain, the United States, It