Great War 100 Reads

Commemorating the centenary of the First World War in books


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Monday Monuments and Memorials – Old War Memorial, Markdale, ON

Some war memorials get around. Some get caught up in the changing machinations of remembrance.

This memorial stands in front of the Markdale Hospital of the Grey-Bruce Health Services, at the corner of Main St W and Argyle St. A centre plaque lists those from the Markdale community who gave their lives in the Great War. It is flanked by plaques commemorating those who served. Two nursing sisters are named on the left plaque: Laura Adams and May Devitt. Continue reading

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Monday Monuments and Memorials – Cenotaph, Flesherton, ON

Many cenotaphs have been caught up in spring cleaning in recent years. I happened to capture before and after photos of the cenotaph in Memorial Park, 40 Sydenham Rd (Hwy 10), just north of County Road 4, in Flesherton. Land for the park was donated by descendants of village founder William Flesher in 1920. The cenotaph was erected sometime after that. Continue reading


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Monday Monuments and Memorials – Eugenia Falls Conservation Area, ON

UNTIL THE DAY BREAK AND SHADOWS FLEE AWAY (Song of Solomon)

Eugenia is a hamlet in Grey County, Ontario. Its key attraction is the Eugenia Falls Conservation Area, where the Beaver River falls 30 metres over the Niagara Escarpment. Nice place for a peaceful walk to see the falls and Eugenia’s war memorial.

Dedicated in 1921, the war memorial lists the men of the area who served (“those who daring to die survived”) and who died (“our gallant dead”). The young soldier is flanked by cannons. Crossed rifles and swords are under the names. The monument is decorated with maple leaves and palm laurels. A faded “S. Borland, Collingwood” on the base likely denotes the maker.  

A gingko tree next to the monument is dedicated to Lt John Allison, MC. Allison was a second year medical student at the University of Toronto when he enlisted. He was killed in 1918 while flying reconnaissance in Mesopotamia.


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Monday Monuments and Memorials – Cenotaph, Memorial Park, Chatsworth, ON

The Chatsworth and Community cenotaph is in a small park in the village of Chatsworth, just north of the intersection of Highways 6 and 10, on the west side of the road at Sideroad 1.

The monument is coarsely chiselled granite. The front is flat to accommodate the names and adorned with symbols carved in finer detail. The draped Union Jack, a sword, maple leaves and poppies bring a flowing movement to the stone.

Robert Shipley notes, “Because (the British Isles and northern France) are the root soil for much of Canada’s cultural inheritance, it is not surprising that some of our memorials echo the form of the “menhirs,” or standing stones. … The similarity between memorial stones like this one in Chatsworth, Ontario and the old standing stones in Northern Europe is not accidental.” (To Mark Our Place, p 105)

The WW2 plaque is a recent addition. Shipley’s photo from the 1980s shows more harmonious carving of the dates and two or three names in the space now occupied by the deteriorating plaque.

One of Chatsworth’s claims to fame is as the birthplace of political activist Nellie McClung. She later moved west, where she was instrumental in winning the vote for women in Manitoba and Alberta in 1916.