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1 oz. Fine Silver Selectively Gold-Plated Coin - First World War Battlefront: The Second Battle of Ypres - Mintage: 10,000 (2015)

1 oz. Fine Silver Selectively Gold-Plated Coin - First World War Battlefront: The Second Battle of Ypres - Mintage: 10,000 (2015)

$112.95 CAD
Mintage: 10,000
Canada and US only
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Second coin in the new First World War Battlefront series! Order today!

"Imagine Hell in its worst form. You may have a slight idea of what it was like." (A Canadian Sergeant)

In April of 1915, the Allied front line formed a bulge around the Belgian town of Ypres to form what became known as the Ypres "Salient." The Germans occupied the high ground to the north, east, and south of Ypres from which they could view the Allied positions. The enemy saw it as an ideal location to break through the Allied lines.

The dawn of April 22, 1915 brought a bright, clear day.

For the soldiers of the Canadian First Division, it meant a relief from the rain and a warm welcome to springtime conditions. They had been repositioned to a quiet rear sector northeast of the town earlier that month, but now found themselves in the front-line within the Salient.

The Canadians had not yet been involved in a major engagement with the enemy—a challenge they eagerly wanted to meet so as to prove their mettle and worth. They would soon get their wish in the horrific baptism of fire that began on that warm spring day.

Around late afternoon, the Canadians viewed a greenish cloud rolling towards their trenches and those of the French and Algerian troops on the left flank. Soon they saw these troops abandoning their positions, desperately trying to escape from what soon proved to be the release of an estimated 160 tons of chlorine gas. Most—thousands—did not get far.

This opened up a huge gap in the Allied line. The Canadians adopted whatever measures possible to meet the oncoming gas and prepared to meet the German troops that were close behind. Although the Germans were able to break the Allied line at several points, they were unable to fully exploit their advantage due to the stubborn and courageous defence displayed by the Canadians.

Close quarter combat followed for days; attacks were followed by counterattacks. Throughout this, the Canadian Division was subjected to a constant, intense artillery barrage. Their tenacity along the Salient, at places such as Bois des cuisiniers, Gravenstafel, St. Julien, Festubert and Frezenberg Ridge, added to the proud history of the Canadian Army and many of its most storied regiments.

Although these actions earned the Canadians a fearsome reputation, sadly, it came at a tremendous cost. When withdrawn from the battle, the Division had lost over 6,000 dead and wounded from its initial strength of 10,000.

It was during this battle, shortly after the burial of his best friend, that a Canadian Army surgeon named John McCrae penned the immortal poem "In Flanders Fields." It would soon become the anthem for the remembrance of those who made the ultimate sacrifice in a war that would last for another three and a half years.

A thoughtful addition to any military or history-themed collection. Order yours today!

Special features:
•   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.
•   EFFIGY OF KING GEORGE V: Your coin features the effigy of King George V by Sir E. B. MacKennal in selective gold plating.
•   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.
•   Selective gold plating beautifully showcases the faithful recreation of the winged figure of Victory from the Victory Medal.
•   Your coin has no GST/HST.

About the Design:
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.

Your coin is encapsulated and presented in a Royal Canadian Mint-branded maroon clamshell with a graphic beauty box.

Order your coin today!

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  • No.140830
  • Mintage10,000
  • Composition99.99% pure silver with selective gold plating
  • Finishproof
  • Weight (g) 31.39
  • Diameter (mm) 38
  • Edgeserrated
  • Certificateserialized
  • Face value20 dollars
  • ArtistSilvia Pecota (reverse), Sir E.B. MacKennal (obverse)

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