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.