New street to honour significant battle

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Canadian and German soldiers help each other through the mud of Passchendaele, November 1917 - Library and Archives Canada

A new access street in Sault Ste. Marie will recognize a famous World War I battle.

During the most recent council meeting, it was agreed that the street, which accesses the P-Patch from Northern Road, will be called Passchendaele Way.

Councillor Shoemaker brought the motion forward and had a moment to speak about why he thought it was a fitting choice for Sault Ste. Marie. It started by a search through the Canadian Encyclopedia for words and topics starting with P, but turned into so much more.

“As I dug further into it, I was reminded, I think I knew at some point, but I was reminded of the local connection between the Battle of Passchendaele and William Marrifields heroics in the First World War and the Merrifield family,” stated Shoemaker.

According to Shoemaker the Merrifield family owned a hardware store for years in Sault Ste. Marie and recently donated Williams Victoria Cross, earned in the battle, to the Canadian War Museum.

Canadian soldiers joined the The battle of Passchendaele ( Also known as the third battle of Ypres) in October of 1917. The battlefield was waterlogged and worn, with the most recent British offensive having started in July. The Canadian division, off their decisive victory at Vimy Ridge and Hill 70, were brought in to end it.

Although ultimately successful, the human cost of the battle was high, Canadian suffered 15,684 dead or wounded out of a total force of 120,000 men.

There have been multiple books written on the battle as well as one motion picture movie. It will now also be the name of one of the first, if not the first street named after a prominent moment in Canadian Armed Forces history.

The vote passed 10-1 with Councillor Dufour being the only person to vote against the name.

Stay with SaultOnline as we continue to bring you stories out of city council. 

6 COMMENTS

  1. Speaking as a veteran I appreciate the sentiment but would have preferred a different location to honour the fallen. I’ve driven through that area from having owned a rental property in that area – it’s often messy and bordering on being derelict. A non-residential area would have been better in addition to some finding the name difficult to spell.

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