November 2, 2007
The 100 Days Campaign
U of S Archives, The Sheaf
December, 1918. page 37.
The final days of World War One were among the bloodiest. The “100 Days Campaign” resulted in a break in the stalemate on the western front. Described officially as “shock troops,” Canadian soldiers played a key role in the counter-offensive that would lead to a collapse of the German army and the Armistice of Nov. 11, 1918.
The rapidity of the final victory came as a surprise to both the combatants and the public in general. After four years of trench warfare, the allied forces went from one victory to the next. More than a quarter of the deaths suffered by the University of Saskatchewan volunteers occurred in the war’s final three months. One of the fatalities was Private R. P. McCordick. He was killed in action on 26 August 1918, the first day of the Battle of Arras. The quote below is from the December 1918 Sheaf.
Robert Pererill McCordick, familiarly known as Bert, hailed from Dundurn. A big man in more ways than one, he was well known for his cheerful disposition and appreciation of a good joke. He was a keen sportsman, excelling in both rugby and hockey. He played on the University rugby team, and was a tower of strength as a defense man on ‘Saskatchewan hockey team. Such a student and comrade could ill be spared and it was with deep sorrow that we heard he had fallen in the defense of liberty and justice.
“These held thy high tradition in their keeping,
This flower of all a nation’s youth and pride;
And safe they hold it still in their last keeping’
Who heard thy call, and answered it…and died.”
Patrick Hayes, U of S Archives