A Memorial Cross to the "Suicide Battalion" for Vimy Ridge
A Memorial Cross to the "Suicide Battalion" for Vimy Ridge - A Canadian Memorial Cross and Memorial Plaque awarded in remembrance of Private C. E. Birch, 46th (South Saskatchewan) Battalion, who was killed in action at the battle of Vimy Ridge on 12 April 1917 - Canadian Memorial Cross, G.V.R., the reverse officially inscribed, ‘911422 Pte. C. E. Birch’, with silver chain, in case of issue, with associated card, in card forwarding box, addressed to ‘Mrs. J. J. Birch, 7940-79th Ave., King Edward Park, Starthcona (sic), Alta.’, together with his Memorial Plaque 1914-18 (Cyril Edwin Birch), this crudely mounted on a wooden base, good very fine. Footnote: Cyril Edwin Birch was born in Birmingham, England. As a Student at the University of Alberta, he enlisted into the 196th (Western Universities) Battalion at Edmonton in April 1916, and went out to France with the 46th (South Saskatchewan) Battalion - the Battalion being better known as the ‘Suicide Battalion’ due to the enormous losses it suffered. The 46th fought hard at the battle of Vimy Ridge, where Birch was killed in action on 12 April 1917 in the attack on Hill 145 ‘The Pimple’, the relevant official casualty report stating, ‘This soldier was hit on the head by a piece of enemy shrapnel and instantly killed.’ Having no known grave, his name is commemorated on the Vimy Memorial. He was the son of Joseph John and Amy Selina Birch, of Strathcona, Alberta; sold with copied service papers.