war memorial at dusk, photographed by Michelle Cooper


Vimy Ridge - 90 Years On


This, signifying a special friendship and honour, was granted to Canadian Troops on 8th April 2007.

the Mounties rode black horses and carried the Maple Leaf flag
The parade through the city to the gates was led by three Mounties - Royal Canadian Mounted Police
a marching band
another group, drawing behind them a large gun
as caption
Knocking on the gates
walking towards the dais where the Mayor was standing
to request entry from the Mayor
as caption
The Mayor is greeted ...
as caption
... and meets the Canadian troops
the troops in line
They are well-behaved!
(In bygone times troops could be ill-disciplined and riotous. Only well-behaved troops would gain the honour of a freedom of a city, which confers the privilege of entering with their colours and without laying down drums, pipes, and weapons. Thus, the symbolism of a meeting of the town official with well-behaved troops formed an integral part of the ceremony of the freedom of the city.) 
the documents are signed at a table in the Place des Heroes

a fanfare of trumpets is played from the balcony where are flown the two large flags

So the freedom of the City of Arras is confirmed

the French Mayor reads aloud the proclamation from a large document
unfurling the colours - they had been kept covered until this moment as caption
The colours are unfurled, arms presented, and the troops are
ready to enter the city
three men with bayonets
both gates are thrown open for the troops to enter
The troops march through the gates ...
drawing the large gun behind them
... bearing weapons
pipers marching past the giants
The troops march past the giants and on into
the city of Arras ...
the Place des Heroes after the events - many visitors sitting at tables enjoying a drink in the evening sunshine
... where we all enjoy the peaceful evening  - thanks to those who gave all they could so many years ago

all photographs are by Simon John Chambers

Vimy Ridge:
Freedom Arras:
page 1   page 2
Vimy Rededication:
page 1  page 2  page 3  speeches
Front Line Torchlit Team

Copyright 2006 Marilyn Stephenson-Knight. All Rights Reserved