Topic: Vimy Pilgrimage
Seven Japanese CEF Veterans Going to Vimy with Pilgrimage
The Montreal Gazette, 16 July 1936
Seven sons of Nippon will march aboard one of the Vimy Pilgrimage liners this morning to travel with Canada's veterans to the former battlefields of France.
Wearing the British ex-service button, these Japanese from Vancouver will be honoring fallen comrades when they stand before the Canadian war memorial on Vimy Ridge, July 26. All are former members of the Canadian Corps.
Arriving from the coast early today the Japanese veterans of the C.E.F. will sail with 6,000 pilgrims of the western world — and the twain will meet, as they did 20 years ago in France, when the ships go out of Montreal to Vimy.
Some of those veterans who leave this morning will never see the great memorial on the ridge that they helped capture. For the blind are going too. And some will not hear the speeches, or the bands, or the prayers. For the deaf are going. And some will have to be carried to the place where Canada lost so many sons. For the lame and crippled are going.
And the widows. Many of those whose husbands died at Vimy Ridge, at Passchendaele and Hill 70, and the other battlefields which Canadian soldiers wrote into history, will be aboard the liners sailing out of Montreal on this solemn pilgrimage. Thirty-five war widows from Toronto make up one party, and there will be others from points throughout Canada.
And the nurses. The women who served in the Great War will be on the decks of the Vimy ships, going back to the places in France where they ministered to the wounded through all the long years of the war. The veterans who sail today will not all be men.
The wives and children of the pilgrims will make up approximately 50 per cent of the passenger lists in the four liners today, and the fifth sailing tomorrow. The great majority of the married servicemen are taking their families to France and England.
Complete passenger lists for the five liners total as follows:
- Montrose, 1,426,
- Montcalm, 1,512,
- Ascania, 1,118,
- Antonia, 1,258,
- Duchess of Bedford, 1,074.
"The Epic of Vimy"
The Epic of Vimy, published by The Legionary after the Vimy Pilgrimage, included a roll of the CEF soldiers and family memebrs who sailed from Canada for the unveiling of the Vimy Memorial in 1936. From this roll, the following name may include some of the soldiers mention in the news article above. (Only one of these three could be foung in the Libarary and Archives database of First World War soldiers by the name as shown here.):
- Furukawa, Mr. Bunshiro, 50th Bn, Vancouver; wounded while serving with the 50th battalion, and a recipient of the Military Medal.
- Kegetsu, Mr. Eikicki, 50th Bn, Vancouver
- Kegetsu, Mrs. Eikicki, Vancouver
- Kegetsu, Miss Kimiyo, Vancouver
- Kegetsu, Miss Takako, Vancouver
- Kegetsu, Mr. Hajime, Vancouver
- Shinobu, Mr. Saburo, Vancouver