Great War 100 Reads

Commemorating the centenary of the First World War in books

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Monday Monuments and Memorials – Tyne Cot Cemetery and Memorial, Zonnebeke, Belgium

With more than 11,900 who died in WW1 buried or commemorated, Tyne Cot Cemetery is the largest Commonwealth cemetery in the world. More than 8,370 of the burials are unidentified.

The area was captured from the Germans in October 1917. One of the German blockhouses was then used as an advanced dressing station. The cemetery was to bury those who did not survive their wounds, about 350 in all. Following the Armistice, bodies from several smaller nearby cemeteries were moved to Tyne Cot. These include many of those killed in the Battles of Langemarck and Passchendaele. Continue reading

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Monday Monuments and Memorials – Puslinch Township War Memorial, Aberfoyle, ON

A soldier stands guard atop the war memorial for Puslinch Township “erected to the memory of our heroes, 1914-1918”* in Aberfoyle, Ontario, just south of Guelph. It stands next to the township office at 7404 Wellington County Rd 34 (Brock Road South).

The monument was unveiled on June 3, 1920. As the returning soldiers arrived, 100 patriotically-dressed school children waved Union Jacks and sang The Maple Leaf Forever. Continue reading

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Monday Monuments and Memorials – Peace Tower, Parliament Hill, Ottawa

Armistice Day, 1918 – Remembrance Day, 2019

This war, like the next war, is a war to end war.
David Lloyd George, British Prime Minister

Patriotism is not dying for one’s country, it is living for one’s country. And for humanity. Perhaps that is not as romantic, but it’s better.
Agnes Macphail, Canadian Member of Parliament

On this day of remembrance, may we learn from war as we strive for peace … and freedom and democracy and equality and justice.

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Monday Monuments and Memorials – Square des Écrivains Combattants, Paris, France

If you visit the Musée Marmottan in the 16th arrondissement of Paris, walk a short half block east on rue Louis Bouilly and cross boulevard Suchet to a peaceful park – the Square des Écrivains Combattants Morts pour la France (writers who fought and died for France). Continue reading

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Monday Monuments and Memorials – Charles Russell Smiley, Hamilton Cemetery, Hamilton, ON

Each soldier tells a story.

Vernon Sharpe Smiley, Charles Russell Smiley and Thomas Gordon Smiley were born in the 1890s in Waterdown, Ontario, the three sons of Charles Arthur Smiley and Amy Sharpe Smiley.

Most records indicate that Russell was born on 22 September 1894. Some say 1895. Continue reading

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Monday Monuments and Memorials – Central United Church, Calgary

Over 200 congregants of Calgary’s Central Methodist Church – 201 men, one underage boy and three women – served in WW1. Thirty-six men died. All are remembered on a large brass plaque in the basement of the church, now Central United, at the corner of Seventh Avenue and First Street SW. Continue reading

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Monday Monuments and Memorials – Cenotaph, Arnprior, ON

To keep forever living the freedom for which they died.

Arnprior was late to erect a cenotaph, by Ontario standards. The monument on John St N near Ewan St, in front of the Arnprior and District Memorial Hospital, was the site of Remembrance Day ceremonies on 11 November 1952, and was officially dedicated in July 1953. On the front of the cenotaph are 60 names of local men who died in WW1. WW2 and Korean War names are on the reverse. Swords decorate the sides. Continue reading


Monday Monuments and Memorials – John Gordon Wardlaw Gibson, Vimy Monument, France

Each soldier tells a story. So does each family left behind.

Cathy Cummings (a GW100R follower) has graciously permitted me to share a post she wrote last month about her great uncle:

Today I am remembering not only my great uncle Gordon Gibson who gave the ultimate sacrifice at Vimy, but his little brother Tom, my grandfather, and what it must have meant to him. Continue reading