Great War 100 Reads

Commemorating the centenary of the First World War in books

Monday Monuments and Memorials – Lisgar Collegiate Institute, Ottawa


Lisgar Collegiate Institute has a history in Ottawa longer than Canada itself: founded in 1843, it just celebrated its 175th anniversary. Students entering the main doors of the school at 29 Lisgar St cannot help but turn their minds to WW1. In Memorial Hall they are surrounded by reminders of alumni and alumnae who served in the war.

A tablet “to the memory of ex-pupils of the Ottawa Collegiate Institute who in defence of justice and freedom gloriously gave their lives in the Great War” names over 130 who died in WW1. Two names featured previously on Great War 100 Reads: Alexis Hannum Helmer’s death inspired In Flanders Fields; Jean Templeman was on the Llandovery Castle when it was sunk. A newer plaque recognizes Helmer as the first Lisgar grad to be killed in the war.

The tympanum over the library doors is carved wood with vines entwining the war years 14 – 18 and 39 – 45.

An honour wall “of the students who served in WW1” names over 900 former students, amongst them 14 other women: Eileen Johnson Berry, Katherine Mary Byrnes, Lillian Campbell, Mary Louise Charleson, Emma Gertrude Eagleson, Annie Link McGregor, H Annie McNicol, Laura Jean Mulvaugh, Elizabeth Peden, Muriel S Robertson, Grace Anna Scott, Emily A Schryer, Edith Madeline Sievers and Anice Chipman Winstead. Most of these can be traced through records at Library and Archives Canada as nursing sisters with CAMC or as receiving Imperial gratuities (likely for service as a nurse or VAD in a British unit).

The school archivist tours Memorial Hall and talks about Alexis Helmer in this video.

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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

3 thoughts on “Monday Monuments and Memorials – Lisgar Collegiate Institute, Ottawa

  1. Thank you for this piece of local history. I find it interesting that In Flanders Fields was inspired by a former student at Lisgar. It is a reality shock to learn that more than 130 former students of Lisgar died in WWI.

  2. Pingback: Monday Monuments and Memorials – HMHS Llandovery Castle and Halifax Memorial | Great War 100 Reads

  3. Pingback: Monday Monuments and Memorials – CR Magrath and John L Godwin, allsaints, Ottawa | Great War 100 Reads

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