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Vimy Ridge and Thain MacDowell’s Victoria Cross

1917 April 9 Canadian Army Canadian Army captain Thain MacDowell machine gun Remembering Vimy Ridge Soldiers’ Tower at U of T. The Battle of Vimy Ridge tunnels U of T Magazine valour Victoria Cross

Vimy Ridge and Thain MacDowell’s Victoria Cross

By Steve Brearton, U of T Magazine In the pre-dawn gloom of April 9, 1917, Canadian Army captain Thain MacDowell slipped over the top of his trench in northern France and began advancing toward Vimy Ridge. As heavy guns from his battalion rained shells down on German defensive positions, the 26-year-old MacDowell became separated from his fellow soldiers. Attended by only a pair of runners, he continued forward, lobbing a pair of hand grenades at two German machine gun nests that were guarding an underground dugout. MacDowell scored a direct hit. He approached the dugout and called down the tunnel...

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