This monument commemorates those boys of Western Canada College who, at the dawn of their manhood, died for their country in the Great War.
Western Canada College (now Western Canada High School, and always a secondary school despite its original name) lives on 17th Ave SW at 6th St SW in Calgary. WCC was a founded in 1903 as a British-style private school for boys. After WW1, it was sold to the Calgary Board of Education. While the original WCC buildings were replaced in later decades, the cenotaph remains to commemorate students and graduates who were killed in WW1.
The granite monument is reminiscent of the style of Lutyens’ Whitehall cenotaph in London. The letters WCC are entwined at the top of the 20 foot structure. A bronze sword in the shape of a cross separates 1914 – 1918, and points to the plaque on which are listed 48 names. The Old Boys’ Association commissioned the monument and raised $16000 to cover the cost. It was dedicated on 26 August 1928.
Colleen Sandham’s article in the July 2014 issue of Chinook (the Alberta Family Histories Society newsletter) tells the story of some of the names on the monument.
The Calgary Daily Herald wrote about the dedication ceremony the following day, on p 4. The front page headline: “Paris Decked with Flags as Anti-War Treaty Duly Signed – Delegates of Fifteen Nations Affix Names Solemnly to Document.” The Canadian Press story reported: “The 1928 renunciation of war treaty condemns recourse to war for the solution for international controversies, and the signatory nations renounce it as an instrument of national policy in their relations with one another.”