Mar 31, 2017 Return to Headlines

Archives Honour Sacrifices of Coquitlam Soldiers at Battle of Vimy Ridge

by Colleen Smith |

COQUITLAM, BC, March 31, 2017 – In honour of the centenary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, the City of Coquitlam Archives has prepared an exhibit that makes the connection between the battlefield and the lives that were touched back home in Coquitlam.

The Battle of Vimy Ridge, which took place from April 9-12, 1917, was a defining moment in Canada’s history. One hundred years ago, all four divisions of the Canadian Expeditionary Force fought together for the first time. It was a moment of victory but also one of great loss. Of the 100,000 Canadians who fought at Vimy Ridge, 3,598 died. Many Coquitlam soldiers fought in this momentous battle and some paid the ultimate price.

The Vimy Ridge 100 exhibit, hosted at Coquitlam City Hall (3000 Guildford Way), highlights the contributions made by Coquitlam soldiers in the Battle of Vimy Ridge and explores how we remember them. It makes a personal connection to the battle by featuring the story of Alexander Windram, a Coquitlam soldier who was killed on April 9, 1917 – the opening day of the Battle. Windram wrote a series of postcards to his family during his training, only months before he was killed. Visitors will be able to read the postcards sent from the training camp in Vernon, BC to the family in Maillardville. The postcards, now preserved at the City of Coquitlam Archives, help to make a personal connection to the wartime experience of a local family. 

The City of Coquitlam Archives will also be showcasing additional archival records from the Windram family as part of a supplementary online exhibit, entitled “Don’t Forget Your Dadie.”

The City Archives will be adding to their online exhibits throughout the year to raise awareness of new acquisitions, highlight upcoming events, and to tell the stories of Coquitlam’s past.

The Vimy Ridge 100 exhibit at City Hall is located in the display cabinets on the main floor to the left of the reception desk and will be up for the month of April.

About the City of Coquitlam Archives
The City of Coquitlam Archives serves a dual purpose: to preserve and to make accessible. Since the inception of the archives program, Coquitlam has been raising its profile to encourage people to use its services and discover the trove of records in the collection. Other outreach includes weekly #TBT posts on the City’s social media platforms and a small collection of historic photos at www.historypin.org.

For more information about the City of Coquitlam Archives and to view the online exhibits, visit www.coquitlam.ca/archives.


Media contact:
Emily Lonie
City Archivist