Great War 100 Reads

Commemorating the centenary of the First World War in books


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Monday Monuments and Memorials – Avenue des Portugais, Paris, France

Statues are not the only way to honour the war dead. And the form of honour can have a double purpose. Avenue des Portugais, a short walk from the Arc de Triomphe in the 16th arrondissement of Paris, is testament to both ideas. Continue reading

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Monday Monuments and Memorials – Royal Newfoundland Regiment, Bowring Park, St John’s, NL

July 1 is Memorial Day in Newfoundland and Labrador, a solemn day of remembrance of the single greatest disaster in Newfoundland history. At Beaumont-Hamel, the Newfoundland Regiment was virtually wiped out in half an hour on the first morning of the Somme Offensive, July 1, 1916. Of the 780 men who went forward, 233 were dead, 386 wounded and 91 reported missing (later assumed dead) – a he casualty rate of 90%. All the officers were killed or wounded. Continue reading


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Monday Monuments and Memorials – Treaty of Versailles and Hall of Mirrors, Versailles, France

The guns went silent on 11 November 1918 but the enemies were still at war. In January 1919, the summit began in Paris to work out the terms of peace. The most important of the resulting treaties was the Treaty of Versailles, ending the war between Germany and the Allies. Continue reading


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Monday Monuments and Memorials – Square des Écrivains Combattants, Paris, France

If you visit the Musée Marmottan in the 16th arrondissement of Paris, walk a short half block east on rue Louis Bouilly and cross boulevard Suchet to a peaceful park – the Square des Écrivains Combattants Morts pour la France (writers who fought and died for France). Continue reading


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Monday Monuments and Memorials – Cenotaph, Owen Sound, ON

The Owen Sound cenotaph is in Queen’s Park, on 1st Ave W at the corner of 8th St W backing on the Sydenham River.

The cenotaph was designed by Emanuel Hahn, working for the Thomson Monument Company. It was dedicated on 1 Dec 1921. Continue reading


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Monday Monuments and Memorials – Monument aux volontaires américains, Paris, France

In honour of Memorial Day in the US.

The Monument aux volontaires américains morts pour la France (monument to American volunteers who died for France) is located in square Thomas-Jefferson, place des États-Unis, 16th arrondissement, Paris. Continue reading


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Monday Monuments and Memorials – Billy Bishop VC and Thomas Holmes, VC, Owen Sound, ON

Two plaques near the Owen Sound cenotaph – in Queen’s Park, on 1st Ave W at the corner of 8th St W backing on the Sydenham River – honour local Victoria Cross winners from WW1. Continue reading


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Monday Monuments and Memorials – Memorial Room, Queen’s University, Kingston, ON

Entering the Memorial Room in the Students’ Memorial Union (now the John Deutsch University Centre) at Queen’s University is like taking a step back in time. The ornate room honours the university’s students and alumni killed in WW1 and WW2. The room is 20×15 feet with a timbered ceiling and panelled walls. A stone altar topped with a display case sits in an alcove with stained glass windows. Continue reading