Great War 100 Reads

Commemorating the centenary of the First World War in books

Monday Monuments and Memorials – Sailors’ Memorial Clock Tower, Montreal

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The Sailors’ Memorial Clock Tower marks the entrance to the Montreal Harbour at Quai de l’Horloge (formerly Victoria Pier) in the Vieux Port. It stands as a memorial to Canadian sailors who served in WW1.

The cornerstone was dedicated by the Prince of Wales on 31 October 1919. The 45 metre tower was completed in 1921. Montréal-based engineer Paul Leclaire’s design cleverly hid unsightly sheds along the quay. The clock mechanism manufactured by Gillett and Johnston in Croydon, England is similar to that of Big Ben in London. Sailors can rely on the clock’s accuracy to set their own watches.

Now locals can soak in the summer sun on the urban beach along Quai de l’Horlage. (Sunbathers had long abandoned the sand and blue umbrellas when I visited in November.) Ambitious folks can climb 192 stairs in season to take in a panoramic view of the city and the harbour.

Perhaps some day I shall not shrink in pain
To see the passing of the dying year,
And listen to Christmas songs again,
Although You cannot hear.

But though kind Time may many joys renew,
There is one greatest joy I shall not know
Again, because my heart for loss of You
Was broken, long ago.

Vera Brittain: from Perhaps (To R.A.L.)


Author: greatwar100reads

Canadian crusader for equality and justice. Connoisseur and creator of the written word. Commemorating the centenary of the First World War in books and monuments. Read more at

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