Veterans’ Week 2017: Canadian Army Remembers

Passchendaele 1917-2017

Graphic: Ryan Drew

Each year, Canadian soldiers join Canadians as they mark Veterans’ Week from November 5 to 11. At commemorative ceremonies and events across the country, they come together to recognize veterans and military personnel past and present and to honour those who made the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of Canada.

Our theme this year is Passchendaele 1917-2017, marking the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Passchendaele that raged in Belgium in the summer and fall of 1917.

We launch this page each year on the day poppies go on sale, this year on Friday, 27 October.

Visit this page throughout Veterans’ Week for Canadian Army Veterans’ Week stories, or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter for all the Army’s latest updates.

Did you know?

  •  When Britain went to war in Europe in August 1914, Canada—as a member of the British Empire— automatically found itself at war as well.
  • On a muddy battlefield in northwest Belgium, Canadians overcame almost unimaginable hardships to win an impressive victory in the fall of 1917.
  • Canada’s great victory at Passchendaele came at a high price. More than 4,000 of our soldiers died in the fighting there and almost 12,000 were wounded.
  • The Canadian Corps—after its great success at Vimy Ridge that April—was sent north to Belgium. It would be all-too-familiar ground for the Canadians who had seen heavy fighting there earlier in the war.
  • The fighting at Passchendaele took great bravery. Nine Canadians earned the Victoria Cross (the highest award for military valour that a Canadian could earn) there. Two of its recipients sadly lost their lives in the battle.
  • The Canadian victory at Passchendaele was truly impressive and added to our nation’s growing reputation as having the best offensive fighting force on the Western Front. This status meant that our forces would be at the forefront of the series of advances that eventually won the war for the Allies a year later.
  • Each year, approximately 18 million poppies are distributed in communities across Canada. The money raised from donations provides direct assistance for Veterans.


a military burial

Identification and proper burial of pre-1970 war dead ‘a special thing’: coordinator

Ottawa, Ontario — You would expect higher public visibility for a Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) organization created to identify and respectfully bury  war casualties from conflicts dating before 1970, but CAF’s Casualty Identification Program (CIP) has remained low-profile for most of its decade-long existence.
January 25, 2018

Restored wheel of the Vimy Ridge Gun in 2016.

The Vimy Ridge Gun: Restoring a Part of Canada’s History

St. Catharines, Ontario — The Vimy Ridge Gun is a captured German howitzer. Volunteers and donors from the Lincoln and Welland Regiment Foundation have worked since 2009 to restore this piece of Canadian history, and it will find a permanent indoor home at the new Niagara Military Heritage Centre in Niagaraon-the-Lake.
November 9, 2017

a military burial

Bringing closure and a final resting place, a century later

Ottawa, Ontario — From 2002 to 2011, it became a familiar sight to witness hundreds of people lining the overpasses along the Highway of Heroes, located between Trenton and Toronto, to pay tribute as the remains of Canadian Armed Forces members killed in Afghanistan were repatriated back to Canada.
November 9, 2017

Alex Decoteau in police uniform, 1911

From the Olympics to Passchendaele: Alexander Decoteau’s exceptional journey

Passchendaele, Belgium — On November 12, 2017, Canadians will participate in the Alex Decoteau Run, a 5K portion of the 16K Poppies’ Run taking place through the historic battlefield of Passchendaele in Belgium. This event is one of many held in 2017 to commemorate the centenary of the battle.
November 7, 2017

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