Friday, March 30, 2012
The Charge of Flowerdew's Squadron, 94 years ago today
March 30th, 1918, was a pivotal day for the Allies and the Germans in the fields of Picarday. The Canadian Cavalry Brigade, mounted men looking like this, charged into the Bois du Moreuil to halt the German advance that followed the launch of their Operation Michael. The already depleted ranks of the Royal Canadian Dragoons, Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians), and Fort Garry Horse fought desperately, as did the enemy. Lieutenant Gordon Flowerdew's "C" Squadron of the Strathcona's was held in reserve, then released to sweep around the northeast corner of the wood--to find German rifles, machine guns, and artillery waiting for them.
Ninety-four years later, even the survivors of the battle at Moreuil Wood are long gone. But their bravery, and their sacrifice, lives on in our collective memories. I have tried to paint a verbal picture of the life and times of one of the troopers present in my book, "Soldier of the Horse".
Moreuil Wood, on the horizon above the village, survives, a living memorial to the long ago events of March 30th, 1918.