Great War 100 Reads

Commemorating the centenary of the First World War in books

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Monday Monuments and Memorials – Ft Lt John Scholfield, St James Cathedral, Toronto

John Douglas Price Scholfield (Jack) was born in Toronto on 9 May 1894, the only son of Henry Chadwick Scholfield and Alexandra Laura (Sutherland) Scholfield. The family moved to Guelph, where Henry was a bank manager and was elected Conservative Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) in 1911.

Jack attended Guelph Collegiate Institute and Upper Canada College. On graduation, he joined Dominion Securities Corporation as a stockbroker. He attested on 30 July 1915 at Shorncliffe, Kent, England, and was assigned to the Canadian Army Medical Corps. He transferred to the Royal Flying Corps in March 1917. Continue reading

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Monday Monuments and Memorials – Cross of Sacrifice, Guelph, ON

The cenotaph in Guelph, Ontario had a long gestation period after the end of WW1. A War Memorial Association was struck in 1921 and a plebiscite on the preferred location was held in 1922. Then money and politics delayed the project until 1927.

In the meantime, the local chapter of the Imperial Order of Daughters of the Empire – IODE – got on with their own memorial plans. They dedicated a Cross of Sacrifice in May 1925, next to the Guelph railway station on Carden St at Wyndham St. The Canadian National Railways donated the land. Continue reading

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Monday Monuments and Memorials – Remember Flanders, John McCrae, Guelph, ON


John McCrae wrote In Flanders Field in May 1915, inspired by the death of his friend Alexis Helmer. The poem was first published in December 1915. Since then, the poem and its symbolic poppies have become iconic remembrances of sacrifice in war. Continue reading

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Monday Monuments and Memorials – John McCrae House, Guelph, ON

Yesterday, 28 January 2018, was the 100th anniversary of John McCrae’s death. Best known for his poem, In Flanders Fields, McCrae was a physician and a soldier.

McCrae was born and raised in a limestone cottage at 108 Water St in Guelph. The home has been restored as the McCrae House museum. A monument in the garden is dedicated to his memory. Ontario Heritage plaques mark McCrae’s birthplace and final resting place. Continue reading


Monday Monuments and Memorials – War Memorial and Memorial Wall, Guelph, ON

Symbolism and remembrance stand side by side in a park at Trafalgar Square, where Woolwich St meets Wyndham St N and Eramosa Rd in Guelph. The former in a monument designed by sculptor Alfred Howell. The latter on a wall of plaques naming those who died.

The program for the dedication of the monument on Sunday 3 July 1927 describes “a magnificent and dignified tribute in honored memory of her sons and daughters who paid the supreme sacrifice in the Great War for Civilization.” Continue reading

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Monday Monuments and Memorials – War Memorial Hall, University of Guelph, Guelph ON

War Memorial Hall in Guelph was built to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Ontario Agricultural College and to honour those from the college killed in WW1.

The hall was to be large enough to seat the entire student body. Disputes about its location were ended when students took direct action and felled a stand of Norway spruce on their preferred site in the middle of the night. Students also excavated the foundations for the building using shovels and wheelbarrows. Continue reading