A window on the west wall of Christ Church Cathedral, at the corner of Burrard and Georgia Streets in Vancouver, is dedicated “to the Nursing Sisters of Vancouver in both war and peace.” The window was made by Abbot & Co Ltd, Lancaster, England. It was dedicated at a special service held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Canadian Nurses Association on Sunday 25 June 1950.Continue reading
Every soldier tells a story. Harold Heber Owen was born in Toronto on 2 July 1893, the only son of Rev Cecil Owen and Alice Grundy Owen. They had four daughters, Winnifred, Margaret, Alice and Beatrice. The Rev Owen moved the family to Vancouver when he became rector of Christ Church. Harold attended Vancouver College and then Wycliffe College at the University of Toronto. He studied medicine and was preparing to be a medical missionary.
At the outset of WW1, father and son enlisted. Rev Owen was chaplain to the British Columbia regiment of the CEF. Harold served in Flanders first with the 7th Battalion, then the 3rd Staff Ambulance, then again with the 7th Battalion as a lieutenant. He survived the Second Battle of Ypres in April 1915. A few days later he wrote to his mother: “I have lost nearly every personal friend within the contingent.” He was killed around midnight on 30/31 January 1916 at age 22.Continue reading
Starting in 1923 and through to 1936, the Imperial (now Commonwealth) War Graves Commission erected memorial tablets in several French and Belgian cathedrals, in memory of the British Empire dead of WW1. A similar tablet was unveiled in Westminster Abbey, London in 1926.
Other countries wanted one. Two replica tablets were purchased in Canada. One (pictured here) was unveiled in Christ Church Cathedral on 11 November 1928, the 10th anniversary of the Armistice. The original inscription has since been revised to include WW2 and the Korean War, and to update “British Empire” to “Commonwealth.” Continue reading
Memorial South Park is bound by E 41st Ave, Ross St, E 45th Ave and Prince Albert St, not far from Mountain View Cemetery in Vancouver’s Sunset neighbourhood. A tree-lined boulevard from E 41st leads to a granite cenotaph in the centre of the active park. Continue reading
Visiting the Law Society offices at 845 Cambie St in Vancouver, you can’t miss the bronze plaque between the elevators in the lobby. The Honour Roll commemorates 27 British Columbia lawyers and 38 law students killed in WW1 (and 15 others killed in WW2). The plaque was originally commissioned in 1961 and rededicated in 2018. Continue reading
In the early dawn of any weekday, commuters* stream north over False Creek on the Burrard Street Bridge, heading into downtown Vancouver. At either end of the bridge, two reminders of WW1 stand guard.
The Burrard Street Bridge opened on 1 July 1932. Architect George Lister Thornton Sharp and engineer John R Grant, both WW1 veterans, incorporated a tribute to WW1 prisoners of war into the bridge: bronze lamps in the form of charcoal braziers like those the PoWs had huddled around to keep warm. Continue reading
Each soldier tells a story.
Visitors to Mountain View Cemetery, located west of Fraser St between 31st Ave and 43rd Ave in Vancouver, can find some 329 Commonwealth war graves of those who served in WW1, a Cross of Sacrifice, and a spectacular view of the Coast Mountains north of Vancouver. The Jones 45 section of the cemetery has the largest concentration of WW1 war graves. Continue reading
The Japanese Canadian War Memorial stands in a quiet grove in Vancouver’s Stanley Park, “in lasting memory of the 190* who answered the call of duty for Canada and to the 54 who laid down their lives in defence of freedom in the Great War.” Visit in the spring, if you can, when the surrounding cherry trees are in bloom. Continue reading
The Canadian Memorial United Church and Centre for Peace, at the corner of W 15th Ave and Burrard St in Vancouver, was built as a memorial to Canadians who fought and died in WW1 … and as a ministry for peace and an end to war. This is the second post about the memorial elements in the church, looking this week at the narthex windows. Continue reading
At the corner of W 15th Ave and Burrard St stands the Canadian Memorial Church and Centre for Peace, built as a memorial to Canadians who fought and died in WW1 … and as a ministry for peace and an end to war.
The Gothic revival church features several memorial elements, historical events and Christian symbolism: Continue reading