This monument to the 21st Battalion in the Canadian Expeditionary Forces stands in City Park, at the corner of Wellington and West Streets in Kingston. It is dedicated “to the memory of our valiant comrades of the Twenty-First Canadian Infantry Battalion CEF who in the Great War made the supreme sacrifice.” (The line “TO THE END, TO THE END, THEY REMAIN” is covered in snow.)
The imagery on the plinth above the dedication includes a cross and poppies over a stylized sunrise, as well as the battalion crest. Jonathan Vance calls the sunrise “a significant motif in memorial imagery that pointed to the resurrection of the dead.” (Death So Noble: Memory, Meaning and the First World War, p 21) Robert Shipley describes the soldier atop the memorial as “seeing a heavenly vision rather than cheering an earthly victory.” (To Mark Our Place, p 146)
Battles in which the battalion participated are listed on the other three sides. The reference to 1915-1918 marks the years the battalion were in France and Flanders.
The memorial was installed in 1931. No information available on who designed it.
One of the 21st Battalion’s mascots was a white goat named Nan. Unlike the Canadian black bear mascots, Nan accompanied the troops to the front. She returned to Canada and is buried near her human comrades at Cataraqui Cemetery.
You can read a brief history of the 21st Battalion here.
Thanks to Vicki, host, driver, guide and chief snow clearer on the Kingston tour.