War Memorials

A Vimy pilgrim's travel arrangements

Ross McIntyre of Komoka, Ontario, served in the Black Watch rather than in the Canadian Corps - but he still made the trip to France in 1936 for the unveiling of the Vimy Memorial.

The Dead of Assiniboia

The memorial, which lists 39 dead from the First World War and 15 dead from the Second, was moved and repaired in 1982. The soldier had to be removed because of damage caused by vandals.

Remembering the Sacrifice

A Form of Service from the unveiling of the Cross of Sacrifice in Rothesay, New Brunswick, remembering "men of the parish who gave their lives for King and Country in the Great War".

The Heroic Dead

The Hants County, Nova Scotia, war memorial drew its inspiration from British history, from the creators of Stonehenge to the builders of the British Empire.

Missing at Regina Trench

Frank Elvin of Guelph, Ontario, was not yet twenty years old when he went missing in action in the last stages of the Battle of the Somme in October 1916. The date on the card likely refers to the date that official notification reached his family.

View PDF: Elvin card.pdf

Returning to Vimy Ridge

This bilingual booklet was available for battlefield tourists four years before the Vimy Memorial was unveiled, and remained in distribution until invading Nazi armies in 1940 confiscated the remaining stock of copies.

View PDF: Vimy.pdf

A community honours its dead

When the Pugwash war memorial was unveiled in 1922, the souvenir booklet listed not only the area's dead, but those people who had donated to the memorial fund, as well the amounts.

"Servant of God, well done!"

Merton Crawford of New Brunswick enlisted in the Canadian Mounted Rifles in March 1915, and went missing in action during the last weeks of the Somme campaign in 1916.

Remembering in Edmonton

Wreaths cover the base of the cenotaph in Edmonton, Alberta, during a service held after the Second World War.

Canadian War Memorials Paintings Exhibition

This companion to the 1920 exhibition of the Canadian War Memorials Paintings includes a catalog of the collection and photographs of some of the paintings.

The Nation's Sacrifice

This poster, distributed by a Toronto newspaper, honoured the unveiling of the National War Memorial in Ottawa, just a few months before the beginning of the Second World War.

The 701 Dead of Brant County

Sculptor Walter Allward had completed the Bell Memorial in Brantford and was working on the Canadian memorial at Vimy Ridge in France when his memorial to the dead of Brant County in southern Ontario was unveiled. Budget shortfalls meant that the intended allegorical figures could not be added at that time.

"The Garden of the Brave"

The National War Memorial in Ottawa was more than a decade from completion when this song was published. Sales of this card benefited the Canadian Legion.

Brantford - The Telephone City

This fund-raising booklet said little about Brantford in the First World War, but rather used photographs of local landmarks and statuary as a form of civic boosterism.

View PDF: Brantford.pdf

To the people of Maganetawan

The school in Maganetawan, in northern Ontario, dedicated an impressive plaque to townspeople who served during the First World War, and also distributed handsome souvenir portfolios of the memorial.

The grave of a Canadian soldier

Nelson Hodgson of the 1st Divisional Ammunition Column, was killed in the fighting around Passchendaele in November 1917. This photograph of his grave near Ypres, Belgium, was sent to his family in Guelph, Ontario.

One municipality, forty-four dead

The unveiling ceremony for this rural Manitoba war memorial included scripture readings, a song by local schoolchildren, an address by the provincial premier, and a reading of John McCrae's poem "In Flanders Fields."

View PDF: Morden WM.pdf

Remembering in Pilot Mound

Veterans in Pilot Mound, Manitoba, organized this annual service to honour the dead of the First World War.

A war memorial altar

As part of the ceremonies marking the Diamond Jubilee of Confederation in 1927, the future King Edward VIII dedicated the altar in the Memorial Chamber, a national war memorial in the newly rebuilt Houses of Parliament. The altar would later be the resting place of the Books of Remembrance, listing all of Canada's war dead.

From memorial to playground

Captured German artillery pieces were sent to Canada as war trophies after the First World War. Intended to act as monuments, they often became playthings for children.

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