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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 that four female Canadian Armed Forces members sadly lost their lives while serving in Afghanistan? #CanadaRemembers

Women have been part of the Canadian military for well over a century. Their brave service has often put them in harm’s way and, in more recent years, women have also entered into combat roles. During the course of our country’s military efforts in Afghanistan from 2001 to 2014, four female Canadian Armed Forces members lost their lives in the war-torn country. From left to right are Captain Nichola Goddard, Master Corporal Kristal Giesebrecht Corporal Karine Blais, and Major Michelle Mendes. Photos: Department of National Defence

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