Ottawa, April 9, 2017 — Today, the Canadian Medical Association (CMA), along with all Canadians, would like to acknowledge the brave soldiers, and in particular, the physicians who contributed to the Battle of Vimy Ridge 100 years ago. Lasting for four days, the Battle of Vimy Ridge saw 3,598 soldiers lose their lives with another 7,004 soldiers wounded. The Canadian Army Medical Corps (CAMC) – which included regimental aid posts, field ambulances and casualty clearing stations – played a significant role during the battle.
"Had it not been for the courageous healthcare workers who took part in this battle, the number of casualties would have certainly been higher," says Dr. Granger Avery, CMA president. "Today, on behalf of my 85,000 colleagues across the country, we would like to express our sincerest gratitude to those who took part in the Battle of Vimy Ridge."
The CAMC was a disciplined unit that was prepared for the daunting task that stood before them. The battle saw them handle over 10,000 soldiers who were killed or wounded over a four day period. However, some had to be treated on the battlefield itself and required the medical officers and their men to improvise by providing treatment in the open or in trenches while under fire. At one point, more than half of all Canadian physicians served overseas to help support the war effort. In total, there were 1,325 casualties among members of the CAMC over the course of the First World War.
To learn more about the CMA's role during wartime, as well as Canada's rich history in medicine, visit cma.ca/150.