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#DYK a shovel was a soldier’s best friend during the First World War? Survival depended on digging in quickly. #Vimy100

While rifles, boots and helmets were touchstones in a Canadian infantryman’s life during the First World War, the shovel was one of his most important tools of all. On battlefields where hails of machine gun bullets, heavy rifle fire and exploding artillery shells turned the air into a lethal storm of metal, quickly digging into the ground for a measure of protection was the only way for a soldier to give himself a chance to stay alive. Pictured are Canadians digging in to consolidate their newly captured positions at Vimy Ridge in April 1917. Photo: Library and Archives Canada

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#DYK Canada’s Merchant Navy played an important role in helping the Allies to victory in the Second World War? #CanadaRemembers

Imagine sailing across the storm-swept North Atlantic in the winter aboard an old transport ship. Now imagine what it would be like knowing enemy submarines could sink your ship and pitch you into the frigid water where the cold would kill you within minutes. For the Canadians who served in the Merchant Navy during the Second World War, this was a reality and each crossing was a grim test of a sailor’s mental and physical endurance. Pictured are two crewmen in the engine room of a merchant ship in Halifax in November 1942. Photo: Library and Archives Canada

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