Vimy Ridge centennial commemorated in Surrey's Veterans Square


(Justin Tang/The Canadian Press via AP) A veteran holds a torch of remembrance during a vigil at the National War Memorial to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge in Ottawa, Ontario, Saturday, April 8, 2017.

Prince William, Prince Harry and Justin Trudeau remembered those who sacrificed their lives in the Battle Vimy Ridge.

The battle claimed the lives of more than 3,500 Canadian soldiers and wounded 7,000 others - among them, about 400 from Saskatchewan - as they fought German forces in the Nord-Pas-De-Calais region of France between April 9 and 12, 1917. "Their Royal Highnesses were joined by the Governor General of Canada, the President of France Fran├žois Hollande and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau", the caption read. Albertans enlisted more than any other province.

"I'm in my last two days of service, so I wanted to make sure I came here for Vimy and also to remember all the folks who are in uniform and served and made the ultimate sacrifice", Perrin said, holding onto his grandfather's service medals.

It's estimated that about 2,000 islanders fought in the battle of Vimy Ridge. The battle of Vimy Ridge was the biggest singled allied advance on the western front up till that point in World War I. Months of preparations went into the battle.

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During a ceremony Sunday, Canadian and French young people placed a pair of boots on the field for every soldier who died, and volunteers read their names out loud.

Sir Michael, who will attend the event in France commemorating the Battle of Vimy Ridge, said national armies which work together were 'continuing to make the world a safer and more secure place'. Princes Charles, William and Harry are expected to attend.

At 5:30 a.m. on April 9, 1917, tens of thousands of Canadian soldiers left their trenches and charged the more than six-kilometre-long ridge as almost 1,000 artillery guns fired on German positions.

As for unity, there are those who say Vimy actually exacerbated divisions between English-Canada, which supported the war, and French-Canada, which opposed it, by pushing the country closer to conscription. In the century since, it's come to be seen as a defining moment in Canada's history, marking its emergence as a global power independent from Great Britain. In total, there were 1,325 casualties among members of the CAMC over the course of the First World War.