The second in the Royal Canadian Mint’s newest First World War-themed series entitled Battlefront, which depicts Canada’s soldiers in action on the battlefields of Europe. This coin is a touching tribute to Canada’s soldiers, who stood bravely in the face of unprecedented peril at the Second Battle of Ypres in April 1915. Their brave actions contributed to a significant chapter in Canada’s history.
On April 22, 1915, near the Belgian town of Ypres, the First Canadian Division would participate in its first major engagement of the First World War. But the day would mark another, more tragic first: it would be the scene of the first large-scale gas attack on the battlefield. Amidst the horrors of the chlorine gas attack on the Allies, Canada’s reputation as a nation began to be forged on the battlefield through the dedication, courage and resilience of its soldiers. With this coin, the Royal Canadian Mint pays tribute to their sacrifice and bravery by commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Second Battle of Ypres.
The reverse design by Canadian artist Silvia Pecota transports the viewer to the front line near Ypres, and into the trenches in the thick of the battle. A Canadian soldier stands in the foreground; manned with a bayonet, his Ross rifle is raised as the soldier scopes the advancing enemy. Behind him, one man is crouched down as he tends to his rifle, which has jammed from the rapid rate of fire. Another leans against the sandbags as he fires upon the enemy. To the right, a soldier has pulled his handkerchief up over his nose in an attempt to protect himself against the burning effects of the green-yellow cloud that bore down on the Allies. It is a telling reminder of the great perils faced by the men of the First Canadian Division. 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.
A meaningful gift for the loved ones and descendants of those who proudly served their country abroad, and a thoughtful addition to any military or history themed collection