44th Bn Memorial, The Pimple, 1988 Photograph by Harry Palmer

The Pimple, one of two high points on Vimy Ridge, was stormed and captured on April 11th 1917 by Canadians led by Brigadier-General Edward Hillier, an Alberta rancher.

“The men of the 44th Battalion move out to the assault in a blinding snow storm, the expanse of mud is well-nigh impassable — and slows down the advance to 20 yards a minute … The powerfully reinforced enemy garrison in the German reserve line has escaped the fury of the barrage in well-protected dugouts — and now presents a determined resistance.”

Lieut. E.S.Russenholt. Six Thousand Canadian Men (1932)

In a war where success was measured by a few metres, the 44th Battalion advanced 4,095 metres. The Canadian army suffered 10,602 killed and 7,004 wounded during the Battle of Vimy Ridge, of which ‘The Pimple’ was a small but successful component.

Harry Palmer’s photo captures a moment on the ridge, not of grandeur but of sacrifice, not a celebration but a memory.

All of Harry’s work may be viewed at APortaitofCanada.ca