Great War 100 Reads

Commemorating the centenary of the First World War in books

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Monday Monuments and Memorials – Royal Canadian Air Force Memorial, Kingston, ON

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.

Air combat was a new technology in WW1. Pilots could count their life expectancy in minutes, days or weeks. Half were killed in training.

Near the RCAF memorial, two oak trees are dedicated to “Grieving the tragedy of war, committed to the promise of peace.” One peace tree is about 100 years old. The other was planted on 21 September 2013, the UN International Day of Peace. A visit in any season but winter would show the peace trees to greater advantage.

PeaceQuest has recently published a WW1 walking tour of Kingston. You can find the podcast and map here.

Thanks to Vicki, host, driver, guide and chief snow clearer on the Kingston tour.

Welcome to more new followers who have joined this journey. I look forward to your comments.