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.
March 8, 1922
Lorette Spur and Its Maples
Sir,- The planting of the trees on Shelbourne Street as a memorial avenue recalls a matter on which more information would be interesting. At the end of 1916 anyone passing along the ridge of Lorette Spur, towards the site of the famous shrine of Notre Dame de Lorette, would discover that he was walking through an embryo avenue of maple trees. These trees were quite small, not more than three or four feet high, and had been nibbled by transport animals and occasionally cut by shell splinters, but they were growing.
We were informed that they had been recently planted as a memorial to the Canadians. Does anyone know if this was true? If it is, it seems remarkable that no more has been made of it. The place is one of the most famous in the war. First of all, the scene of the most desperate fighting between the French and German forces, and afterwards held by the Canadians until the final advance, as a sacred trust it has many and varied memories.
The view from it is one that can never be forgotten. The ridge points directly at Lens, past the northerly end of Vimy Ridge. On the right the eye looks down on Ablain St. Nazaire; it follows along the valley of the Nazaire River, past the Souchez Sugar Refinery and the Iron Post, a cylinder riddled with bullets like a sieve, to the village of Souchez, and then on Vimy Ridge, which shuts out the horizon.
On the left one looks across the plain to Bully Grenay and the old and shattered pithead towers of the "Fosses" of that neighborhood and of Maroc.
Swinging more to the eastward one sees the "Double Crassier" and Hill 70 against the sky, passing over the low-lying mining suburbs of Lens, known generally as the Calorne (in pencil -nne) sector. Every place means a tremendous deal to every Canadian soldier, and the Spur itself has a special place
BC Archives, MS-2879 Box 83 File 1/ CREASE FAMILY/ "Diary of the War", diary and scrapbook of Arthur Douglas Crease, 1915-1919.