Continuing my travels close to home, to the many war memorials in Eastern Ontario.
Veterans Memorial Park in Chesterville, Ontario, displays three monuments of different ages and for different purposes, all of which include WW1.
The Nation Valley cenotaph is oldest of the three, “erected to our heroes killed in the Great War” and listing four soldiers, their regiments and brief circumstances of their deaths.
- Sgt Harold Adam Merkley, 54th Batt, CEF. Killed at Vimy, July 19, 1918, age 22 yrs
- Pte W B C Moodie, 49th Batt, CEF. Killed at Vimy, Apr 9, 1917, age 33 yrs
- Pte Ransom Howard Hess, Princess Patricia Light Infantry, CEF. Killed at Battle of Parvillers, Aug 13, 1918, age 17 yrs (Hess gave his birthdate as August 1897 when he attested in January 1916. The 1911 census gives 27 August 1900 as his birthdate while the 1901 census says 1899.)
- Pte Henry Coughler, 28th Batt, CEF. Died of wounds in hospital, France, Nov 1, 1918, age 33 yrs.
The Nation Valley monument was moved to the park in 2015 from a nearby former schoolhouse (River Rd at Nation Valley Rd).
The centre monument is dedicated in “proud and grateful remembrance of those of Chesterville and district who gave their lives in supreme sacrifice” in WW1, WW2 and Korea. Fifteen names are under WW1, including the four from the Nation Valley cenotaph: Sgt J Clement, F.O. W Durant, Pte C Forward, Pte O Harper, Pte We Hayes, Pte R Hess, Pte A Hummel, Pte C Hummel, Pte E Macmillan, Capt E Merkley, Pte E Merkley, Sgt H Merkley, L/Cpl W Moodie, Pte N Paul and Pte H Shaver.
The third and newest monument is dedicated by Chesterville Legion Branch 434 “to honour these men and women who served Canada so we can live in peace.” Those who served in WW1 – 166 names – are listed on the first of five black granite panels.
Chesterville Veterans Memorial Park is at 26 Queen St btwn Main St N and County Rd 43 on the South Nation River.
Flashback to other Eastern Ontario monuments featured on Great War 100 Reads:
- Great War Memorial Hospital, Perth
- War Memorial, Smith Falls
- Edwardsburg War Memorial, Spencerville
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