Troops leaving the trenches during the Battle of the Somme, 1916.

Troops leaving the trenches during the Battle of the Somme, 1916.

The Canadian attack began on 1 October 1916 led by the 2nd and 3rd Divisions, who captured Kenora Trench, but were unable to defend it successfully against German counterattacks. The Canadian Corps tried again on 8 October, and were again pushed out after taking their initial objectives on the perimeter of the trench system. A series of two more attacks finally broke the system on 11 November 1916, when Regina Trench itself was finally captured by the 4th Division. Each attempt to attack cost thousands of men; exact numbers for Regina Trench are unclear, but by the end of the Somme offensive, the Canadian Corps had lost 20% of its fighting force.

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