Great War 100 Reads

Commemorating the centenary of the First World War in books


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Monday Monuments and Memorials – Memorial Windows, City Hall, Kingston, ON … Part 2

A formal assembly room in Kingston City Hall was renamed Memorial Hall in 1921 by Governor General Lord Byng “in everlasting remembrance of those from this city who fought in defence of justice and liberty” and “in honour of Kingston’s sailors, soldiers, airmen and nursing sisters who served overseas.”

This is the second post about the memorial windows … these six windows are on the west wall, to the left as you enter Memorial Hall. Quotations are from the program for the 1921 event. Continue reading

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Monday Monuments and Memorials – Memorial Windows, City Hall, Kingston, ON … Part 1

Kingston’s City Hall is a grand 19th century building at 216 Ontario St. One of its formal assembly rooms was renamed Memorial Hall in 1921 by Governor General Lord Byng “in everlasting remembrance of those from this city who fought in defence of justice and liberty” and “in honour of Kingston’s sailors, soldiers, airmen and nursing sisters who served overseas.”

Twelve stained glass windows line the two long walls of the room. Each window marks a battle in which Canadians played a significant role and a group that contributed to the war effort. They were made by the Robert McCausland Ltd of Toronto (which now claims to be the oldest stained glass company in the Western Hemisphere and the longest continuously-owned family company in Canada).

Today’s post features the east windows, to the right as you enter the hall. Quotations are from the program for the 1921 event.  Continue reading


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Monday Monuments and Memorials – Frontenac Club, Kingston, ON

The Frontenac Club, a private gentlemen’s club, opened in 1908 in a grand limestone building at the corner of King St W at William St in Kingston. In 1919, the club honoured 10 of its members killed in the Great War, posting a bronze plaque on the William St wall. All were officers.  Continue reading


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Monday Monuments and Memorials – 21st Canadian Infantry Battalion Memorial, Kingston, ON

This monument to the 21st Battalion in the Canadian Expeditionary Forces stands in City Park, at the corner of Wellington and West Streets in Kingston. It is dedicated “to the memory of our valiant comrades of the Twenty-First Canadian Infantry Battalion CEF who in the Great War made the supreme sacrifice.” (The line “TO THE END, TO THE END, THEY REMAIN” is covered in snow.) Continue reading


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Monday Monuments and Memorials – In Flanders Fields

Tomorrow marks 100 years since John McCrae’s poem In Flanders Fields was first published – anonymously – in Punch magazine. Since then, the poem and its symbolic poppies have been linked to the remembrance of loss and sacrifice in war.

In today’s gallery:

  • The last lines of poem are on the base of the cenotaph in Orangeville, Ontario.
  • Copies of The Grieving Soldier by Emanuel Hahn grace many Canadian communities. This one is in Hanover, Ontario.
  • John McCrae statue by Ruth Abernethy, Green Island, Ottawa. Another cast of the statue is in Guelph, his birthplace.
  • National Military Cemetery, in Beechwood Cemetery, Ottawa
  • Memorial Room, Students’ Memorial Union, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario
  • Memorial Chamber, Peace Tower, Parliament Hill, Ottawa
  • University College Memorial Plaque, Memorial Room, Soldiers Tower, University of Toronto
  • End wall of WW1 Memorial Screen, University of Toronto


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Monday Monuments and Memorials – Cross of Sacrifice, Kingston, Ontario

The Cross of Sacrifice was erected in Kingston in 1925, through the work of local chapters of the Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire. It is the site of Kingston Remembrance Day ceremonies, located on the south side of King St at Geroge St near the Lake Ontario waterfront.

The monument is made from granite with a bronze sword fixed on the front. The pattern was designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield for Crosses of Sacrifice in Commonwealth war cemeteries. (You can see one in Ottawa’s Beechwood Cemetery here.) The dedication is “to the glory of God and in proud and loving memory of those Kingston men and women who gave their lives in the Great War.” Unusual, in that it notes women as well as men.

Following WW1, the IODE was responsible for many memorials in Canada. When the local chapter of IODE closed in the 1950s, the Princess of Wales’ Own Regiment became stewards of the monument.   

The memorial was rededicated in 2014 after extensive restoration. From a City of Kingston press release: “The memorial was showing wear and tear from the weather and vandals: mortar between the stones had deteriorated, the granite stones around the base had shifted out of place, the stones were stained from exposure to the elements and pollutants, and the sword was discoloured and had a bend in it from vandals attempting to pry it off.”

 Thanks to Vicki, host, driver, guide and chief snow remover on this tour.