We forget sometimes that those historic events that loom large in our national psyche and have carried such profound resonance over the years, were at the time, only one of the many events taking place in the lives of everyday people.
This article in the 17th April 1917 edition of the Grande Prairie Herald demonstrates the relative importance attached to the assault on Vimy Ridge shortly after the event. Midway down on the right side of the page, the Canadian assault was a smaller news story than the bid for tenders on a new school and the Red Cross Ball held on Friday the 13th. Still, it was on the front page and shared that space with other news about the war, including the British capture of 13,000 “Hun” prisoners and “World United Against Huns.”
Three days later, April 20 edition of the Lake Saskatoon Journal does not mention Vimy specifically but it does write about the results of the latest Allied offensive on the western and southern fronts by the British and French. This news shares the front page with articles about wheat trade, munition strikers in Germany, new homestead residences for C. Cady and G. Evans, and the marriage of the “Popular Young Couple,” Mamie Moore and Ulia Douglass. Other war news that day included the story of British subjects in the US being liable for call up, food sources for the Army and Navy, and the return of Private Ralph Witherly to Grande Prairie.
By Archivist Josephine Sallis