On MacDonald Square in Elora, in front of the municipal offices where Wellington Rd 18 meets Geddes St, stands a granite cenotaph “dedicated to the memory of the men of Elora who died in the Great War.”
Front and back, a wreath of maple leaves surrounds the years 1914-1918, over a cross (for sacrifice) and crusaders’ swords (representing a fight for a just cause). In Memorium tops the front. On each side, battles are listed along with the names of The Glorious Dead.
According to McGill University records, the first Canadian dentists to go overseas in WW1 were with No. 3 Canadian General Hospital (McGill), which was organized in McGill in early 1915. A plaque in memory of three graduates who died on active service in WW1 is on the main floor of the Strathcona Building on the McGill campus, 3640 rue University.
A church built in 1904 to house a parish that has served the community for 150 years remembers its parishioners who served the country in WW1. St Luke’s Anglican Church is at 760 Somerset St W in Ottawa.
A brass plaque is dedicated “in loving memory of the men of St Luke’s Parish who gave their lives in the Great War.” Twenty names are listed: Frederick W Beer, Percy R Cooper, John H Cummings, John J Dwyer, Herby W Fregin, Harry K Graham, William J Gallichan, Thomas B Giles, Samuel T Greenway, James T Greenway, G Harvey, William Hellier, Henry Kerr, Edmund H Milks, William H Shapter, Frederick C Sparks, Frederick G Thomas, James E Thomas, George M Tyrell and Percy N Wigmore.
We were preparing not Peace only, but Eternal Peace. There was about us the halo of some divine mission. We must be alert, stern, righteous and ascetic. We were bent on doing great, permanent noble things.
Harold Nicolson, British delegate to 1919 Paris peace conference
This is not a peace treaty, it is an armistice for 20 years.
Marshal Ferdinand Foch, at the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, 1919
To tell the truth, much of this special work we do is quite boring. I think that’s why women are good at it. Our lives are already boring. (p 83)
Intelligence: knowing where the enemy is, what they are doing, what they are planning, what they are capable of. Information that gives a tactical advantage in war. One source of intelligence: unobtrusive eyes and ears. Add language skills to understand and code messages. Fine motor skills to write those messages in tiny letters or to pick locks. The people you would least expect. Women.
The true story of WW1 spy Louise de Bettignies is the launching pad for Kate Quinn’s novel, The Alice Network. Codenamed Alice Dubois (and nicknamed Lili in the novel), the “queen of spies” and her covert network worked behind German lines in northern France and Belgium. The information they passed to the British is credited with saving over 1000 lives. A message about the possibility of a German attack at Verdun planned for early 1916 was unfortunately not believed by the French military authorities. de Bettignies was arrested in October 1915 and died in prison in September 1918.
A window on the west wall of Christ Church Cathedral, at the corner of Burrard and Georgia Streets in Vancouver, is dedicated “to the Nursing Sisters of Vancouver in both war and peace.” The window was made by Abbot & Co Ltd, Lancaster, England. It was dedicated at a special service held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Canadian Nurses Association on Sunday 25 June 1950.
It’s Labour Day in Canada and the US … a day to celebrate workers. Like other groups in society, many companies saw fit to memorialize their employees who had served in the war.
Toronto’s Union Station, at 65 Front St W between Bay and York, is the busiest passenger transportation facility in Canada. How many of the 200,000-300,000 daily travellers passing through stop to take in the memorial to Canadian Pacific Railway workers killed in WW1?
John Hewitt Laird was the son of John and Julia Grace Irvine Laird, born in Quebec City. He attended Appleby College in Oakville, Ontario. When he attested in August 1916, he listed his profession as bank clerk. He was killed at Hill 70 on 15 August 1917, weeks before his 20th birthday.