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Canadian History for Kids: Valour Road

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War One and Canadian History for Kids have assembled 31 remarkable stories about incredible people, places and events which helped shape our amazing nation.

A grateful nation never forgets a hero.

Of the almost 70 Canadian soldiers who received the Victoria Cross in World War 1, three of them lived on the same street in Winnipeg Manitoba.

Pine Street was a street in the West End of Winnipeg. Three soldiers, Corporal Leo Clarke, Sergeant-Major Frederick Hall and Lieutenant Robert Shankland, all grew up on that street. In World War I each received the Victoria Cross for acts of bravery during the war. In recognition of their courage Pine Street was renamed Valour Road.

Their stories:

Corporal Clarke fought in the battle of the Somme. Alone and under attack by 20 enemy soldiers he attached emptying his own revolver twice and then picking up a German rifle off the ground. He was bayonetted in the knee by a German officer but continue to fight. He killed four more and took one prisoner. He was killed in action one month later.

Sergeant-Major Hall fought at the battle of Ypres. His company was pinned down in the trenches by enemy fire but under cover of night he went out twice to rescue injured men. When he and two other soldiers heard the groans of an injured soldier on the battlefield they tried to go to him but were forced back by heavy fire. The two other men was injured. Sergeant-Major Hall tried again alone and in broad daylight. He crawled across the field, reached the wounded man and began moving him on his back towards the trenches. When he raised his head to find his way back he was shot in the head and died instantly.

Lieutenant Shankland fought at the battle of Passchendaele. He led his men to a forward position which they held during a counter-attack. He then made his way alone across the battlefield to Battalion Headquartesr to advise of his company’s position. A detail that was important to the Allied battle plan. Lieutenant Shankland returned to his men and continued on. He was the only one of the three to survive the war.

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