The Boys From Balcarres – The Battle of Vimy Ridge

One hundred years ago to the second, whistles sounded across the trenches of Vimy Ridge.  Tens of thousands of Canadians streamed over the top and onto the battlefield.  Preparation for the attack had been long and painstaking, with nothing left to chance.  One hundred thousand Canadians fought in the battle. At the end of the day, 10,682 Canadians were listed as casualties, including 3,598 dead, and Canada had done what no other allied army had been able to — capture Vimy Ridge.

Edwin Greenhow was among the brave soldiers who fell on April 9, 1917.  In the weeks that followed, the Canadians pressed the attack to ensure hard-won gains were not lost and on April 20, 1917, Edison Greenhow also fell.

Half a world away, their family and friends in Balcarres, Saskatchewan would surely have been unaware of events unfolding on the battlefields of France.  I like to think that someone, somewhere, perhaps had a premonition; perhaps were given pause in what they were doing that day, only to wonder what had occurred.  We will, of course, never know.

On this, the centennial of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, we invite you to join us in celebration. We would be honoured if you would spend a little time looking at the tribute we have created.


Shauna Powers and I discuss our project.



Gordon Michayluk of Balcarres has spearheaded a tasteful YouTube video that tells the story of his town’s ongoing efforts to honour Edwin and Edison Greenhow and all of the brave soldiers from their community who served their country faithfully.  The video was produced by Sheldon Boyarski of Ituna, Saskatchewan, with the support of the local Legion and the town of Balcarres.   The video can be viewed here:

Balcarres Video


I have taken the liberty of trying to imagine what life on the home front might have looked like in those bleak war years.  The story is told from the perspective of my grandfather, who was Edwin and Edison’s brother.  My hope is that, even if only in our imaginations, they might live just one more time before they pass forever into the annals of history. To purchase the novella, please visit my store on this site.

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