LOOS-EN-GOHELLE, France – Hundreds of people from France and a sizeable delegation of Ukrainians from the diaspora attended the public unveiling of the Battle of Hill 70 Memorial at Loos-en-Gohelle, France, on August 22.
Included in the ceremony was the official opening of the Konowal Walk. Cpl. Filip Konowal’s valor 100 years ago at the Battle of Hill 70 (August 22, 1917) was recognized with the highest medal of the British Empire, the Victoria Cross. He was the only Ukrainian ever so distinguished.
The naming of the central pathway at the Hill 70 memorial after Konowal was made possible through the generosity of the Temerty Family Foundation, the Ihnatowycz Family Foundation, the Petro Jacyk Education Foundation, the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Foundation, Canadian First World War Internment Recognition Fund, Ukrainian Canadian Veterans Fund, Shevchenko Foundation and other Ukrainian Canadian organizations and individuals, with the support of the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain.
Prof. Lubomyr Luciuk, chairman of the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Foundation, commented: “This is a very fitting tribute to a Canadian hero, 100 years to the day on which his valor in a fierce battle won him the Victoria Cross. Almost two decades ago the chairman of Branch 360 of The Royal Canadian Legion, the late John B. Gregorovich, initiated our community’s efforts to honor Cpl. Konowal, the honorary patron of that branch. Being here today to see John’s vision finally realized, on the site where Konowal fought so bravely, is a privilege. This Ukrainian Canadian hero will now always be remembered.”