Canadian Memorial / DuryView of one side of the memorial
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DuryBravery rewarded

Canadian Dury Memorial

After the victory during the Battle of the Scarpe on August 26, 1918, the British troops had 48 hours to recover their strength before a new attack on the Drocourt-Quéant line 14 km east of Arras. This German defense line was an integral part of the Hindenburg Line, a vast defensive system built by the Germans in the winter of 1916. Installed between the villages of Drocourt and Quéant, this barrier, reputed to be impregnable, protected the town of Cambrai, the future objective of the British troops.

On the morning of September 2, 1918, the 1st and 4th Canadian Divisions and the 52nd British Division attacked the Germans, entrenched in their dugouts. The British Division launched the assault north of the Cambrai road, while the 1st Canadian Division attacked south of the same road and the 4th, in the center, rushed toward the village of Dury.

Preceded by a powerful artillery barrage and accompanied by tanks, the Allied troops advanced rapidly into no-man’s-land and crossed the enemy wire in a matter of hours.

The Canadian divisions broke through the enemy defences.

During this fighting, several Canadian soldiers would distinguish themselves by their bravery and feats of arms. In the Dury sector, seven soldiers will receive the Victoria Cross, the highest award of the British army.

Despite 5,600 soldiers lost, the British succeed in taking all the objectives and take 6,000 prisoners. The German army recorded very heavy losses and the very next day, September 3, decided to withdraw behind the Canal du Nord, the next objective for the allies.

In honor of the Canadian soldiers who fought, a memorial was erected in the town of Dury on the edge of the departmental road D939 that connects Arras to Cambrai. In the center of a park planted with majestic maples, stands a block of stone that commemorates the courage and sacrifice of these men who broke the Drocourt-Quéant fortification line.