First coin in the Royal Canadian Mint’s newest First World War series entitled Battlefront, which depicts Canada’s soldiers in action on the battlefields of Europe. A poignant commemoration of the contributions made by members of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) at the Battle of Neuve-Chapelle in 1915 during the First World War.
On the morning of March 10, 1915, the deafening sound of heavy artillery suddenly filled the air near the French village of Neuve-Chapelle, where Canada’s soldiers would get their first true taste of battle in the First World War. The Royal Canadian Mint commemorates the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Neuve-Chapelle with this coin – the first in a series that highlights the contributions made by the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) on the battlefields of Europe.
The reverse design by Canadian artist Joel Kimmel is a finely detailed depiction of Canadian soldiers in action during the Battle of Neuve-Chapelle. In the centre, an 18-pounder field gun is manned by three Canadian gunners; billowing clouds fill the air to the right, from the ongoing bombardment, while ammunition on the ground to the left are a reminder of the constant nature of the initial artillery attack. Behind them, a sergeant stands and observes the accuracy of the shot’s trajectory through binoculars. The lower portion of this poignant image is framed by a banner; in its centre, selective gold plating showcases the winged figure of “Victory,” as it appeared on the Victory Medal that was awarded to the allied soldiers of the First World War.