Entering the Memorial Room in the Students’ Memorial Union (now the John Deutsch University Centre) at Queen’s University is like taking a step back in time. The ornate room honours the university’s students and alumni killed in WW1 and WW2. The room is 20×15 feet with a timbered ceiling and panelled walls. A stone altar topped with a display case sits in an alcove with stained glass windows. Continue reading
How communities choose to remember their friends and neighbours who serve in war can evolve over time. In Kingston, one can find many WW1 memorials to the fallen, erected shortly after the war by the city, service clubs, regiments, churches, schools and other organizations. A WW1 bronze tablet at City Hall lists over 250 names.
Fast forward to October 2012. A new memorial wall was dedicated to soldiers and peacekeepers who “called the Kingston area home through birth, residence or work” and who died in war since the South African War in 1899-1902. Over 500 names are listed from WW1. Broader criteria, more names.* Continue reading
City Park, a large park just west of downtown Kingston, is home to many monuments that mark the city’s military connections. One park memorial, on Stuart St near Barrie St, is dedicated “to the glory of God and in loving memory of all who gave their lives and served with the Royal Canadian Air Force and Commonwealth Air Forces.”
It was erected by the 416 Wing of the Royal Canadian Air Force Association. City records indicate that it dates from around 1967. The epitaph – “they have slipped the surly bonds of earth” – is the first line of High Flight, a poem by American WW2 pilot John Gillespie Magee, Jr. Continue reading
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
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).
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
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
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
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.