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Arthur Douglas Crease Letters, Diaries and Scrapbooks

Letters from Arthur Douglas Crease of Victoria to his brother Lindley Crease and his mother Sarah Crease; instructions for the offensive of July 26, 1917; a regimental notebook, diaries and scrapbook. Learn more.

*All transcriptions are provided by volunteers, and the accuracy of the transcriptions is not guaranteed. Please be sure to verify the information by viewing the image record, or visiting the BC Archives in person. 

BC Archives MS-0055BC Archives MS-2879



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By a Correspondent in The London Times If there is one sector of the western battle front which holds more sacred memories than another, both for Frenchmen and Britons of every part of the Empire, it is that which surrounds the ridge of Notre Dame de Lorette. Ypres may mean more to the British, or Verdun to the French, but the heights of Notre Dame have looked down on some of the fiercest struggles and the most bitter sacrifice in the history of either nation. No fitter site could have been chosen for the great basilica which is to be erected on the battlefield as a monument to all the Allied dead. Its commanding position alone would have marked it out for such a purpose. Running due east and west, for six miles, and towering above the coalfields of France, the ridge, scarred with trenches cut in the chalky soil and surmounted at its western end by the woods and the windmill of Bouvigny, must be a familiar object to almost every British soldier who served on the Western front. From the tower of the Pantheon, which M. Cordonnier has designed to replace the little shrine at the bare eastern end of the plateau, one will look out northward over the plain that is bordered by the La Bassee Canal, and beyond it over Givenchy, Festubert and Neuve Chapelle, to Armentieres and Ypres. Eastward lies Loos, no longer distinguished by the great landmark of the "Tower Bridge," and Lens, a tragic heap of ruins, and nearer at hand across the valley that once was a valley of death, the Vimy Ridge. What memories that name recalls! To Canadians it speaks of final triumph after weary months of preparation. To Frenchmen of the final check to high hopes in 1915. To many Englishmen of mines and countermines, attack and counter-attack, and to Londoners especially of a dark night in May, 1916, when only Cockney valor prevented a break in the line. How many tired gunners, from their observation posts on Lorette, have... ...far different now from what it was in the days when one could watch from its heights the German shells crashing into Carency, mingling the black smoke of their bursts with clouds of pink dust from some ruined farmhouse, or the transport crawling in the dusk along the Ablain road. It was in those days that the gipsy bomber, whose story was told in some verses in Punch a few years ago, found his favorite spot in the battlefield from which he could not tear himself away on the slopes of Notre Dame: But most he loved to lie upon Lorette And, couched on cornflowers, gaze across the lines On Vimy Ridge--we had not Vimy yet-- Pale Souchez's bones, and Lens among the mines. Till, eagle-like, with hoarse indignant.

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BC Archives, MS-2879 Box 83 File 1 Crease Family "Diary of the War", diary and scrapbook of Arthur Douglas Crease, 1915 - 1919.

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