Letters

Remembering the Battle of Lundy’s Lane

Editor:

Long live Canada, the True North Strong and Free.

This Friday, July 25, will mark the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Lundy’s Lane, a battle that saved Canada, our home and native land.

This is the battle that gave us the country that we have today, the sovereignty that we so love and should never take for granted, and it was one of the bloodiest battles of the war and one of the deadliest battles ever fought on Canadian soil.

The British and Canadians mustered a total of 3,500 and eight guns (including reinforcements) facing an American invasion force of 2,500 troops and nine guns. The Americans knew that this battle could make or break their campaign for supremacy.  The British knew that if they lost this battle, Upper Canada would fall and maybe soon after, Lower Canada as well.

And so over the hallowed ground of Lundy’s Lane Cemetery they faced each other and on that day began the crucial events that set in motion the country that we call Canada. Twice before the Americans had tried to invade Canada and both times they had been soundly repelled back to their own country. The British even repelling them as far south as Washington and while attacking the city, burned the White House.

But while the British held Lundy’s Lane in strength, when they heard of the advancing Americans, they began to pull back their forces. But orders of a retreat were immediately countermanded and the troops stayed where they were. And so began a battle that saw both sides advancing and then falling back and when midnight came the battlefield was in disarray.

In the early hours of the next day, the Americans, numbering some 1,200 in strength, tried to take even more of the battlefield, but found that the British numbered some 2200, men and so were forced to retreat to Fort Erie, having to abandon or destroy much equipment and supplies to make room for the wounded on any available wagons.

In the end, the British had won the battle and retained the battlefield and although both sides would continue to fight for another six months, the balance of combat power on the Niagara Peninsula had swung from the Americans to the British and Canadians, and Upper and Lower Canada were still there.

It is to these soldiers and those who fought at the Battle of Chrysler’s Farm, the Battle of Queenston Heights and all the other battles of the war on both land and sea, that we owe our sovereignty and the birth of our country.

We also owe a debt of thanks to one such lady who felt that these soldiers should be memorialized and that lady was Ruth Redmond, a local teacher, who in the 1950s, began using her meager savings to purchase properties adjacent the battlefield, preserving heritage buildings and sites, to help preserve the memory of the brave British and Canadians. She, like the soldiers in the battle and the war in general, is in my view a Canadian above and beyond the call of loyalty.

The future of Canada was won and preserved this day by men of bravery, courage and the will to staunchly defend their country and sovereignty with their very lives. Therefore we must never forget their sacrifice to our country, And as well be ever vigilant to maintain and defend our sovereignty, both economic as well a geographic, where ever it may be under threat, from the arctic to the forty-ninth parallel and from the Atlantic to the pacific, to preserve this country that we all love.

Gordon Kibble

Richmond

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