In June 2022, I will be one of 100 riders to participate in the Wounded Warriors Canada’s Battlefield Bike Ride (BBR22) “100 Days to Victory”. Together, we will cycle over 400 km from Amiens, France to Mons, Belgium to honour those Canadian soldiers who fell during the last 100 days of World War I, also known as “Canada’s 100 Days”.
I welcome you, as a sponsor, to join me as I prepare for this trip. I will be using this space to keep you abreast of my fundraising progress and my physical training. Of course, because this will be a ride (to use the WWC tag line) To Help the Living and Honour the Fallen, there will be overviews of how your donation is helping the work of Wounded Warriors Canada (WWC). I will also share my readings into Canada’s involvement in the last 100 days of World War I.
As the Great War progressed, Canada’s successes in battles like those at Vimy Ridge, France and Passchendaele, Belgium, had earned its army the reputation for being the best-attacking Allied troops on the Western Front. When the Allies planned the offensives that would ultimately win the war, Canada’s soldiers were given the responsibility of being at the forefront of the attacks.
Our ride begins on 13 June 2022, in Arras, France. On that first day, we will be visiting Vimy Ridge. While not part of the final 100 days of the war, it is the home to Canada’s most impressive overseas tribute to the valour of our military. The next day, we ride to Amiens, site of the opening phase of the final 100 days. This will be followed by visits to Beaumont Hamel, Cambrai and ending in Mons, Belgium, where the Armistice was signed on 11 November 1918. I look forward to having you along for the ride.
For me, this ride is very personal. My grandfather, Merrick McCracken, fought through many of the battles of these last 100 days. Although he was never physically injured during the war, he had to face the demons of the death and destruction that he experienced. As a result, he developed what we know today as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), but was better known then as “shell shock”. Services were not available for those like my grandfather. Like so many others, he found solace in a bottle. WWC works with those military personnel, veterans and first responders who have developed mental disorders, like PTSD.
Honour the Fallen; Help the Living!