Great War 100 Reads

Commemorating the centenary of the First World War in books

Monday Monuments and Memorials – Memorial Windows, City Hall, Kingston, ON … Part 2

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A formal assembly room in Kingston City Hall was renamed Memorial Hall in 1921 by Governor General Lord Byng “in everlasting remembrance of those from this city who fought in defence of justice and liberty” and “in honour of Kingston’s sailors, soldiers, airmen and nursing sisters who served overseas.”

This is the second post about the memorial windows … these six windows are on the west wall, to the left as you enter Memorial Hall. Quotations are from the program for the 1921 event.

Medical Corps cares for a wounded soldier and a child.

The design for this window was taken from the publication known as “Queen Mary’s Gift Book,” but changes were made in order to have the soldier represent The Canadian Tommy and the nurse A Canadian Nurse. Two thousand and two Canadian nursing sisters served overseas. Lens was shell battered until it became a heap of ruins.

Vimy, April 1917 – a Canadian soldier, based on a newspaper photo.

The subject is from an official photograph of a “Tommy” walking back after having done his bit on that memorable 9th day of April, when the “Byng Boys” again made history for the British Empire, and demonstrated to the Germans that “Der Tag” was growing rapidly near. The window is so true to the photo that someday someone will recognize the soldier.

Passchendaele, October 1917 – two soldiers loading shells into a cannon.

This window was developed from photographs taken at the Royal Military College, and is correct in every detail. Anyone who took part in this terrible battle will never forget the ordeal through which he passed. The Canadian operations at Passchendaele extended from October 26th to November 10th, and during that time men lived and ate and slept in mud, water and slime.

Cambrai, October 1918 – a pilot in front of a plane.

This window is from a photograph, taken in France, of a Canadian airman, as he was ready to enter his machine. Approximately 13,000 Canadians served in the Royal Air Force. The Battle of Cambrai began on September 27th, 1918, and on October 9th the Canadians, after heavy losses, took Cambrai and made large captures of men and materials.

Scapa Flow, November 23, 1918 – an allegorical figure of Britannia riding a horse on the waves, captioned “in honour of the British navy.”

Scapa Flow, like Ypres, is from Punch and by Bernard Partridge. This window is in honour of the British Navy, and typifies the surrender of the German Fleet to the British. The British Admiralty writes under date of August 15th, 1921, “That the German Fleet arrived at Rosyth on the 21st November 1918, and was transferred to Scapa on the subsequent days.” England continues to be “Mistress of the Seas and the Protector of Liberty and Justice.”

Mons, November 11, 1918 – an allegory of peace, a winged figure sowing seeds on barren ground as life rekindles after the devastation of war.

This window, like Ypres and Scapa Flow, is by Bernard Partridge and from Punch. To the Princess Pats, the first Canadian Regiment to enter the war, came the honour of being the first of the Allied Troops victoriously to re-enter Mons, the historic city where in 1914 the gallant British Old Contemptibles had first fought so desperately. The city was completely occupied by the Canadians by two o’clock on the morning of November 11th, three hours before the signing of the Armistice, a new record being established by breaking the German’s strongest defenses, and reaching the furthest point of the Allies’ great advance.

You can see the east windows here.

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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 greatwar100reads.wordpress.com.

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