Remembering Hill 70

Canadian soldiers in captured trenches on Hill 70. Photo: Library and Archives Canada.
Canadian soldiers in captured trenches on Hill 70. Photo: Library and Archives Canada.

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In the summer of 1917, a British offensive was planned in Belgium near Passchendaele in order to sweep the German forces from the English Channel coast. To divert the German reinforcements, they ordered an attack against the city of Lens in northern France. The high ground around the city, particularly a feature designated as Hill 70, was vital to the German defences. On August 15, 1917, the Canadians seized the trenches around Hill 70; over the next ten days they would fight a bitter battle, taking nearly 9 200 casualties—but capturing or killing over 20 000 Germans. On the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Hill 70, we remember their sacrifice.

Image gallery

  • Canadian Armed Forces members carry two coffins with the remains of First World War members through Commonwealth grave markers in France.
  • Canadian pigeon carriers watering their birds in a captured German trench on Hill 70. Photo: Library and Archives Canada.
  • Machine gunners of the 13th Battalion going out to rest after the Battle of Hill 70. Photo: Library and Archives Canada.
  • German prisoners captured by the Canadians on Hill 70. Photo: Library and Archives Canada.
  • A German machine gun emplacement between Hill 70 and Lens. Photo: Library and Archives Canada.
  • German prisoners captured on Hill 70. Photo: Library and Archives Canada.
  • German prisoners being examined during the Canadian push to Hill 70. Photo: Library and Archives Canada.
  • A young German prisoner is examined by a Canadian officer after the recent push on Hill 70. Photo: Library and Archives Canada.
  • The quarry headquarters of the Battle of Hill 70. Photo: Library and Archives Canada.
  • A wounded Canadian soldier drinking hot coffee at a soup kitchen 100 metres from the German lines during the attack on Hill 70. Photo: Library and Archives Canada.
  • A stretcher bearer party bringing the wounded up from the German lines on Hill 70. Photo: Library and Archives Canada.
  • A young German officer captured by Canadians on Hill 70. Photo: Library and Archives Canada.
  • A wounded Canadian soldier coming in during the attack on Hill 70 near Lens. Photo: Library and Archives Canada.
  • A soldier fixing a boot on the foot of a horse which was hit during the Canadian advance on Hill 70. Photo: Library and Archives Canada.
  • German prisoners captured by the Canadians on Hill 70. Photo: Library and Archives Canada.
  • General Sir Arthur Currie watching the men who took Hill 70 marching to rest camp after being relieved. Photo: Library and Archives Canada.
  • Medics tending wounded Canadians during the advance to Hill 70. Photo: Library and Archives Canada.
  • German prisoners being marched through the streets after being captured by the Canadians at Hill 70. Photo: Library and Archives Canada.
  • Canadian soldiers in an old German trench on Hill 70. Photo: Library and Archives Canada.
  • Troops from the 2nd Brigade receiving hot tea at a soup and tea kitchen within a quarter mile of the front line on the night before the attack on Hill 70. Photo: Library and Archives Canada.
  • A steel and concrete sniper's post in ground captured by Canadians in a recent push on Hill 70. Photo: Library and Archives Canada.
  • Canadian soldiers in captured trenches on Hill 70. Photo: Library and Archives Canada.
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