Great War 100 Reads

Commemorating the centenary of the First World War in books

Monday Monuments and Memorials – Memorial Park, Shelburne ON

6 Comments

The war memorial in Shelburne, Ontario stands in front of the town hall, on Victoria St at the corner of Main (Hwy 89). Lots of stuff packed into a small space here:

  • A bronze statue of a soldier on a granite base, erected on 4 June 1923
  • Plaques on the granite base naming those who died, the condition of which suggests recent replacement
  • A small plaque for the opening of the Shelburne and Community Memorial Park on 4 June 1923
  • German guns, the booty of war Guns from WW1 and WW2
  • A newer black granite monument “to those men and women who offered their lives so that we can be free. We thank them.”

Together, these elements offer glimpses of the changing ways of remembrance.

A 1923 souvenir program is for the official unveiling of the “Soldiers’ Memorial.” Shipley lists the statue as one that identifies fallen soldiers with Christian martyrs: “the expansive, triumphant gesture of one who has seen a vision. Even from the depths of despair the figure seems to be beholding a great truth.” (To Mark Our Place, p 146).

The front plaque says the monument was “erected by the people of Shelburne and vicinity to perpetuate the memory of our honoured dead and those who carried on in the Great Wars.” So we know it was added sometime after WW2. So, too, were the carved words around the bottom of the base: countries in which Canadians fought in WW1 and WW2, rather than WW1 battle sights.

The black granite marker is a recent addition to the space. Why was it necessary to repeat WW1, WW2 and Korea on another monument? Did anyone from the community serve as a peacekeeper or in Afghanistan? Or is this a move beyond honouring those in the community to a general nod to war?

Advertisements

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.

6 thoughts on “Monday Monuments and Memorials – Memorial Park, Shelburne ON

  1. Another interesting post. Is there any mark on the figure or elsewhere on the monument to indicate who the sculptor was? The figure appears to be the same as the one standing tall on the Chatham ON war memorial. I have made several efforts to ID the Chatham sculptor — without success. I’d be grateful for any light you might shed on the question.

  2. No sculptor marks on the Shelburne monument that I could find, Alan. It does look like Chatham statue. Shipley identifies F.G. Tickell & Sons as the foundry for both. A January 2016 memo to support designation of the Chatham memorial under the Ontario Heritage Act suggests that William Loveday may have been the sculptor, citing Shipley as the source. But I can find no reference to that in To Mark Our Place.

  3. Agreed. Don’t know where the Chatham-Kent heritage folks got the Loveday idea, but it wasn’t from To Mark Our Place. Just goes to show that you can’t believe everything you read online.

  4. A small correction regarding the guns. The gun with the rubber tires is a 25 pounder field gun from WWII used by Canadian and British field artillery units.

  5. Thanks for the correction, Terry. Lots of things packed into that small space.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s