Frank, Heidi and Ruth (Franks daughter), with a Mountie at the Vimy war memorial.
Ill. Bro. Frank Fordham's trip to Vimy war memorial.
Frank’s father Frank William Fordham, uncles Herbert Ambrose and Sydney all enlisted to fight for their country in Europe, only Frank William returned.
Prior to that trip with the assistance of Ruth, they located the grave-site of Herbert Ambrose in France. Herbert Ambrose died in the trenches of Vimy from pneumonia.
Sydney was wounded at Vimy and was subsequently transferred to England for medical treatment but later succumbed to his injuries and is buried in Croydon cemetary in London.
Frank’s trip commenced with a stop-over in London, England to visit his uncle Sydney's grave and pay his respects.
Taking advantage of his time in London, Frank and the family visited the Imperial War Museum.
The message of Vimy Ridge is one of bravery and sacrifice. The battle, which took place on April 9, 1917, is commonly highlighted as a turning point in Canadian history, where the four Canadian divisions fought together as a unified fighting force for the first time. While 3,598 Canadian soldiers were killed during the battle, the impressive victory over German forces is often cited as the beginning of Canada’s evolution from dominion to independent nation.
To underscore the sacrifices made by Canada, which suffered 60,000 fatalities during the First World War, France granted Canada 107 hectares of land at Vimy to build and maintain a memorial. That iconic site is today considered one of the most stirring of all First World War monuments, and certainly Canada’s most important war memorial.
2017 Vimy Ridge war memorial celebrations.
During the trip when Frank met fellow Masons from around the world, he presented them a 300th anniversary / 150 Canada anniversary coin from our Grand Lodge.
Since his return to Hamilton, Frank fell and fractured his hip and spent a few weeks at St. Joe's rehab facility. During his recovery he was visited by a young Westdale school volunteer student. During the visit the volunteer informed Frank that he was in France and attended the Vimy Ridge celebrations. Well did that make Franks day. He was so pleased that the youth of today makes time in their lives to remember our countries history and respect those who gave their lives for our freedom.
Frank celebrated his 93rd birthday on August 29, congratulations Frank.
Frank, we respect you and thank you for the time taken by you as a Hamilton veteran to pay tribute to our departed brethren who remain abroad.
Ill Bro. John L. MacPherson.