Great War 100 Reads

Commemorating the centenary of the First World War in books

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Monday Monuments and Memorials – Eldon A Faulkner, Bells Corners Cemetery, Ottawa, ON

Every soldier tells a story.

A Commonwealth War Graves Commission stone in Bells Corners Union Cemetery is engraved:

Eldon A Faulkner served as 3347433 Private
Eldon A Brown
The Fort Garry Horse, 8th November 1918, age 22

In fact, he served as both Faulkner and Brown. Continue reading

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Monday Monuments and Memorials – Puslinch Township War Memorial, Aberfoyle, ON

A soldier stands guard atop the war memorial for Puslinch Township “erected to the memory of our heroes, 1914-1918”* in Aberfoyle, Ontario, just south of Guelph. It stands next to the township office at 7404 Wellington County Rd 34 (Brock Road South).

The monument was unveiled on June 3, 1920. As the returning soldiers arrived, 100 patriotically-dressed school children waved Union Jacks and sang The Maple Leaf Forever.

Twenty-one names are on the war memorial:

  • Lance-Corp Adam A Heller, 1st Batt
  • Lance Corp Septimus Harrison, 44th Batt
  • Gr Orman T Gibbs, 16th Batty
  • Pte Roy A.M Smith, 14th Batt
  • Pte Alex J Martin, 58th Batt
  • Lance-Corp William G Grahamshaw, 13th Batt
  • Pte Walter Penrice, 87th Batt
  • Pte Leslie F Eagle, 3rd Batt
  • Pte William G Morris, 111th Batt
  • Corp A.E Herbert, 8th Canadians
  • Gr James H McIntyre, 10th Batty
  • Flight-Lt John Munro, Can F.C.
  • Pte Albert H Calvert, 153rd Batt
  • Pte Fred Foley, 208th Batt
  • Pte James D Clark, 2nd Batt
  • Corp William Palmer, 2nd Tank Batt
  • Pte Alfred Crowhurst, 33rd M.G.S.H. Batty
  • Pte LW Munch, 31st Batt
  • Pte W Ames, 71st Batt
  • Sergt JT Herbert, 153rd Batt
  • Pte A MacLean, 228th Batt

The Annals of Puslinch 1850 – 1950 lists the locals who served by school district. The Puslinch Historical Society lists them alphabetically.

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*This dedication is not visible for the snow in my photos.

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Monday Monuments and Memorials – Lochnagar Crater, Ovillers-la Boisselle, Somme, France

The Lochnagar mine was an underground explosive charge planted by the British beneath the German front line. It was detonated on 1 July 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme. The explosion – the largest and loudest man-made* explosion at the time – left a crater 70ft (21m) deep by 330 ft (100 m) wide.

The crater is now preserved as a WW1 memorial. A wooden walkway installed around the rim of the crater offers a good view of the depth. Twenty interpretive panels tell about the crater, the people and the aftermath of war. Continue reading

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Monday Monuments and Memorials – Remember Flanders, John McCrae, Guelph, ON


John McCrae wrote In Flanders Field in May 1915, inspired by the death of his friend Alexis Helmer. The poem was first published in December 1915. Since then, the poem and its symbolic poppies have become iconic remembrances of sacrifice in war. Continue reading

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Monday Monuments and Memorials – Christ Church Cathedral, Fredericton, NB

Christ Church Cathedral, at 168 Church St in Fredericton, New Brunswick, was built in the gothic revival style in the mid-1800s and rebuilt in 1911-1912 after lightning struck and fire gutted the spire and choir.

The memorial to the members of the congregation who fell in WW1 takes the form of a bronze tablet below a cross of stones set into the southwest tower pier. The stones were from ruined altars in the Cathedrals of Arras and Ypres, brought by the Rt Rev J A Richardson, Bishop of Fredericton at the time. Continue reading

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Monday Monuments and Memorials – St Matthew’s Church, Ottawa

Many communities, including churches, commemorated members who died in WW1. The names were listed on plaques and hung on the wall. With the passing of years, the plaques became a fixture and the people behind the names forgotten.

A plaque in St Matthew’s Anglican Church, at 217 First Avenue in Ottawa, lists 16 parishioners killed in WW1. Glenholm Wilson is also remembered on a separate shield.   Continue reading

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Monday Monuments and Memorials – Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, Ottawa

Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry is a Regular Force infantry regiment of the Canadian Army of the Canadian Armed Forces. Now based in Edmonton, it is seen as a Western Canada regiment. Ottawa was its birthplace, though, 105 years ago.

At the outbreak of WW1 in August 1914, Hamilton Gault offered $100,000 to the Canadian government to finance and equip a battalion.  The Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, Governor General, gave permission to name the regiment for his daughter, Princess Patricia of Connaught. It was the first Canadian infantry unit to take its place in the trenches.

Two public monuments in Ottawa mark the PPCLI connection to this city.

Birthplace of the Regiment

A cairn in front of the Aberdeen Pavillion in Lansdowne Park marks the birthplace of the Regiment. A Laurentian pink granite block was placed in August 1974. The original memorial bears the inscription:

A proud Regiment was born here in August 1914, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry.

Un fier régiment fut formé ici en août 1914.

The present day cap badge is engraved on one side of the block and the original cap badge on the other.

In September 2014, the monument was rededicated to mark the 100th anniversary of the regiment. The original block now tops a black granite block. An engraved tablet on the front shows Princes Patricia presenting the Camp Colour to the regiment (based on a painting by LCol (retd) William J Bewick). The English inscription:

On 10 August 1914, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry was founded by Hamilton Gault, and a call went out for military veterans to join the regiment. They came from all across Canada. Less than two weeks later, Princess Patricia presented the regiment her hand-made Camp Colour, known as the Ric-A-Dam-Doo. This Colour was carried into battle during the First World War, and in 1919, tattered and torn by bullets and shrapnel, it became their first Regimental Colour.

For the past 100 years, in every major conflict from the First World War to Afghanistan, PPCLI has answered Canada’s call.

Princess Patricia presents her hand-made Camp Colour to her regiment, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry in Lansdowne Park on 23 August 1914.

Princess Patricia passes the Camp Colour to Lt Col Francis Farquhar, the first commanding officer, in the presence of her father, Prince Arthur, the Governor General, and her mother, the Duchess of Connaught, the Princess Pats had more than 1000 soldiers on parade, and there were over 12,000 citizens of Ottawa in attendance.

On 18 September 2014, during the Centennial of the Regiment, The Right Honorable Adrienne Clarkson, PC, CC, CMM, COM, CD, LLD, Colonel-in-Chief, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, and His Worship Jim Watson, Mayor of the City of Ottawa, rededicated this Memorial. It is a Memorial to all Patricias who died in the service of Canada, and a monument to all who served the PPCLI.

Founder of the Regiment

A statue of PPCLI founder, BGen Hamilton Gault was unveiled on 9 May 1992 facing the National War Memorial on Confederation Square, near the National Arts Centre. Don Begg was the sculptor. The English inscription:

Brigadier Andrew Hamilton Gault DSO, OBE, ED, CD. Founder, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry

This statue is dedicated to the memory of Andrew Hamilton Gault, Canadian war hero, philanthropist, industrialist, and public servant. His life was an example of devoted service to Canada in war and peace.

Over two thousand Patricias have given their lives for Canada’s freedom. Their legacy of selflessness, heroism and devotion to duty continues to inspire their successors who proudly serve Canada in the quest for peace. Dedicated 1992

Heritage footage from Library and Archives Canada shows the PPCLIs returning to Ottawa at the end of WW1 (1919)

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Monday Monuments and Memorials – War Memorial, Edmundston, NB

A black granite obelisk stands in front of Edmundston City Hall, at the corner of Canada Way and Emmerson St. Erected in 1950 (and added to in 1994), it commemorates locals killed in WW1, WW2 and the Korean War. Continue reading

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Monday Monuments and Memorials – Cross of Sacrifice, Quebec City, Quebec

The iconic Cross of Sacrifice, designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield in 1918 for the Imperial (now Commonwealth) War Graves Commission, was a convenient design to use beyond the cemeteries. Quebec City adopted the design for its war memorial. It was unveiled on 1 Jul 1924 by Governor General, Julian Byng, Baron of Vimy in honour of the 219 Quebecois killed in WW1. Continue reading

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Monday Monuments and Memorials – Lt Cyril McLellan Mowbray, St Paul’s Church, Halifax, NS

Each soldier tells a story.

A memorial plaque in St Paul’s Church, Grand Parade, Halifax, names three members of the Mowbray family: father, Lt Col John Arthur Clarke Mowbray; mother, Sadie McLellan Mowbray; and son, Cyril McLellan Mowbray. Continue reading