Great War 100 Reads

Commemorating the centenary of the First World War in books

Monday Monuments and Memorials – War Memorial, Durham, ON

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Veterans Memorial Park, corner of Mill and Albert Streets, Durham. A bronze statue of a soldier stands atop a red granite monument, “in memory of the men of Durham and vicinity who gave their lives for humanity in the Great War.” They are named on the front and right sides – 36 in all. Ranks other than private are indicated.

Battle honours are listed on three sides of the base: Sanctuary Wood, Amiens, Ypres, Vimy Ridge, Mons, The Somme, Givenchey, Arras, Passchendale. The monument was dedicated in September 1922.

At the corner of the park is a German 17 cm mittlerer Minenwerfer on iron wheels, captured by a Canadian battalion. These were popular trophies of war, in great demand by municipalities across the country. Many became scrap metal in WW2. This one is still in good shape.

Gathering names to include on a monument was not an exact science. Take Robert Putherbough, for example. Putherbough was crossed out and changed to Peterbough on his attestation papers, and is Peterbough in his other military records. On 10 August 1918, he went missing and assumed killed in action. His body was never identified. Peterbough is on the Vimy Memorial. In the Book of Remembrance in the Peace Tower Memorial Chamber, he is listed twice … as Peterbough on p 484 and as Putherbough on p 488. Putherbough is on the Durham monument. Records of his parents Samuel and Eliza Jane can be found under both names. Changed, perhaps, to Anglicize its German roots?


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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