ARCHIVED - 100th Memorial Baton Relay: The Final Leg

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Article / May 25, 2015

After travelling across Canada, the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI) Memorial Baton Relay completed the final leg of its journey through the Ypres Salient in Belgium on 8 May 2015, retracing the steps the “Originals” took 100 years ago to the day before their first major battle in the First World War.

The Memorial Baton Relay originated in Canada, and was carried by serving and retired PPCLI soldiers as it visited 23 cities and towns from Edmonton to Ottawa during the period August 10 to September 18, 2014.

The Memorial Baton contains the Honour Roll of the Regiment, the names of 1,866 Patricias who have fallen in the service of our great nation. The Memorial Baton Relay honours their sacrifice and perpetuates their legacy.

It is fitting that on the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Frezenberg, the Baton was carried by the next generation of Patricias,”  said Captain Ben Litowski, a runner with the relay team.   “Those inscribed on the Honour Roll represent the best of the Regiment and we should never forget their sacrifices.”   

The Memorial Baton, after arriving at the Frezenberg Service, was placed in a glass case by The Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, the PPCLI Colonel-in-Chief. The glass case containing the Baton will eventually be placed on display at The Museum of the Regiments in Calgary, Alberta.

The formation of PPCLI began a century ago with regular Canadians traveling to Ottawa to fight in the Great War. Replicating that route with the Memorial Baton Relay not only followed in the footsteps of these brave men, but connected with Canadians and Europeans along the way as their legacy and heritage was celebrated.

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