Great War 100 Reads

Commemorating the centenary of the First World War in books

Monday Monuments and Memorials – Citizens’ War Memorial, Peterborough, ON

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Citizens of the Town and Township of Peterborough commissioned a war memorial in 1921. Sculptor Walter Seymour Allward won the commission, later assisted by Gilbert Bayes when Allward was occupied by his work on the Vimy Memorial. Central Park (now Confederation Park) was the chosen site, in part because it had been the gathering point from which many of the local soldiers left for war. The monument was dedicated by Sir Arthur Currie on 30 June 1929.

Two pedestals sit on a circular base, all of white granite. A bronze allegorical figure stands on each pedestal. A plaque at the park entrance describes them: “The standing figure, the Knight of Chivalry, represents the victors, his outstretched arm warning the recoiling figure, the defeated enemies, that all aggression must cease.” The names of local citizens who died in WW1 were carved front and back on the longer pedestal.

The carved names eroded over time. New bronze plaques covering the front of the pedestal were unveiled in June 1979, with names of those killed in WW1, WW2 and the Korean War. A plaque added to the smaller pedestal reads: “In memory of the chivalry of our men and women who fought and died defending humanity against aggression. Their names liveth for evermore.” The bronze statues were restored in 1993-94. The Veterans Wall of Honour was installed in in October 2010, 12 monumental granite stones arranged in a semicircle around the war memorial, inscribed with the names of over 10,000 locals who served in WW1, WW2 and the Korean War.

One woman is listed amongst those who died. Nursing Sister Marion Overend served with the US Army Nurse Corps and was killed in an airplane crash in June 1918. See In the Line of Duty: Nurse Marion Overend and Her Tragic One and Only Flight by Steven A. Ruffin.

Confederation Park is on George St N, between Murray and McDonnell Streets, across from City Hall. A replica of the 1962 Peterborough Book of Remembrance can be viewed in the City Hall foyer.

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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