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Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Montreal Mount Royal Cemetery, Quebec

 

Works

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Stone of Remembrance - Winnipeg Brookside Cemetery, Manitoba

The Commission distinguishes itself by virtue of three structural features: the headstone, the Stone of Remembrance and the Cross of Sacrifice. After much debate the Commission headstone was established after the First World War. Its shape and design were chosen to reflect the guiding principles of the Commission. The Stone of Remembrance was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, one of the Commission's original four principal architects. This monolithic war or altar stone was designed so as to be non-denominational. Inscribed on the Stone is a phrase chosen by Rudyard Kipling from the Book of Ecclesiasticus - Their Name Liveth For Evermore. There is only one such Stone in North America located in Winnipeg Brookside Cemetery, roughly the geographic centre of Canada.

There are 32 Crosses of Sacrifice erected throughout the Americas, 26 of which are in Canada. Designed by another of the Commission's principal architects, Sir Reginald Blomfield, these are finely proportioned granite crosses with a symbolic bronze sword.

Union Cemetery, Calgary, Alberta
Calgary Union Cemetery, Alberta

Cemetery of Medicine Hat, Alberta
Medicine Hat Cemetery, Alberta

Oakwood Cemetery of Montgomery, in Alabama, United States
Montgomery Oakwood Cemetery, Alabama, USA

Cemetery of Regina, Saskatchewan
Regina Cemetery, Saskatchewan

They are located as follows:

  • Esquimalt Veterans Cemetery, British Columbia
  • Vancouver Mountain View Cemetery, British Columbia
  • Victoria Ross Bay Cemetery, British Columbia
  • Victoria Royal Oak Burial Park, British Columbia
  • Calgary Union Cemetery, Alberta
  • Calgary Burnsland Cemetery, Alberta
  • Edmonton Cemetery, Alberta
  • Edmonton Beechmount Cemetery, Alberta
  • Medicine Hat Cemetery, Alberta
  • Regina Cemetery, Saskatchewan
  • North Battleford Cemetery, Saskatchewan
  • Brandon Cemetery, Manitoba (Quid pro quo with the City of Brandon)
  • Winnipeg Brookside Cemetery, Manitoba
  • Hamilton Cemetery, Ontario
  • Kingston Cataraqui Cemetery, Ontario
  • London Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Ontario
  • Ottawa Beechwood Cemetery, Ontario
  • Toronto Prospect Cemetery, Ontario
  • Montreal Mount Royal Cemetery, Quebec
  • Saint John Fernhill Cemetery, New Brunswick
  • Halifax Fort Massey Cemetery, Nova Scotia
  • St. John's Anglican Cemetery, Newfoundland & Labrador
  • St. John's Mount Carmel Cemetery, Newfoundland & Labrador
  • St. John's General Protestant Cemetery, Newfoundland & Labrador
  • St. John's Salvation Army Cemetery, Newfoundland & Labrador
  • Gander War Cemetery, Newfoundland & Labrador
  • Montgomery Oakwood Cemetery, Alabama, USA
  • Nassau War Cemetery, Bahamas
  • Kingston Up Park Camp Military Cemetery, Jamaica
  • Choc Bay War Cemetery, Saint Lucia
  • Port of Spain (St. James) Military Cemetery, Trinidad and Tobago
  • Stanley Cemetery, Falklands Islands

There are a number of other Crosses of Sacrifice throughout North America placed and maintained through public or private funds with permission from the Commission. This includes the Cross in Arlington National Cemetery, USA, a gift from the Government of Canada to acknowledge the number of American citizens in the Canadian Forces who served and gave their lives during both world wars and the Korean War.

Cathedral Tablets

Tablet of the Hamilton Cathedral
Cathedral Tablet, Church of the Ascension, Hamilton, Ontario

The Commission erected commemorative tablets in a number of cathedrals in France and Belgium in the 1920s and 1930s. The Commission was responding to the desire of its member governments to emphasize the magnitude of the Commonwealth sacrifice during the 1914-1918 war. A tablet was also erected in Westminster Abbey, London in 1926. Copies of this tablet were placed in the Church of the Ascension in Hamilton, Ontario and in Christ Church Cathedral in Vancouver, BC.

Memorials to the Missing

There are five Memorials to the Missing in Canada as follows:

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Victoria Memorial, British Columbia

The Victoria Memorial: This small memorial situated in Ross Bay Cemetery, Victoria, BC has four granite panels. The memorial bears the names of 36 officers and sailors of HMCS "Galiano" who have no grave but the sea. The vessel sunk on 30 October 1918 and was the only Royal Canadian Navy vessel lost during the First World War.

The Ottawa Memorial
Ottawa Memorial, Ontario

The Ottawa Memorial: This Memorial, honouring over 790 Commonwealth men and women, was designed jointly in the offices of the Chief Architect of the then Canadian Department of Public Works and the Commission. It is located on Green Island north of Sussex Drive. The main feature is a sculptured terrestrial globe in bronze on a base formed by three bronze beavers rising from the centre of an ornamental pool. Two curved limestone walls bearing panels on which the names are engraved, face inwards towards the globe. The names are those of the members of the Air Forces of the Commonwealth, including civilian aircrew of Ferry Command, who lost their lives while serving in units operating from bases in Canada, the USA, and the Caribbean, or while training in Canada and the USA, and who have no known grave or whose grave is classified as not accessible or maintainable.

The Quebec Memorial
Quebec Memorial, Quebec

The Quebec Memorial: The memorial is located in the Last Post Fund Field of Honour at Pointe-Claire (Island of Montreal). It commemorates almost 100 members of the Commonwealth forces who died during the two world wars and whose place of burial can no longer be marked or maintained.

The Halifax Memorial
Halifax Memorial, Nova Scotia

The Halifax Memorial: Located in Point Pleasant Park, Halifax, NS, this memorial commemorates those of the Royal Canadian Navy, the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve, the Royal Canadian Navy Volunteer Reserve, the Canadian Merchant Navy and the Merchant Seamen of Newfoundland who have no known grave but the sea. The memorial also bears the names of those of the Canadian Army, stationed in Canada who have no known grave or who were lost at sea. The Memorial consists of a large Cross of Sacrifice erected over an octagonal podium, the faces of which bear 23 bronze panels inscribed with over 3,000 names.

The St. John's Memorial
St. John's Memorial, Newfoundland & Labrador

The St. John's Memorial: Located in Mount Pleasant Cemetery, it honours 34 members of the Commonwealth forces who died in the service of their country and are buried elsewhere in Newfoundland and Labrador but whose graves can no longer be maintained.

The Ottawa Cremation Memorial
Ottawa Cremation Memorial, Ontario

Additional Memorial

The Ottawa Cremation Memorial: Located in Ottawa Beechwood Cemetery, within a shelter owned by Veterans Affairs Canada, the Commission maintains bronze plaques commemorating Commonwealth War Dead whose remains were cremated in North America. The Commission also maintains bronze plaques commemorating Dutch War Dead whose remains were cremated in Canada.

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Kitchener Woodland Cemetery, Ontario

Non Commonwealth War Graves

The Commission has various reciprocal agreements in place with other countries regarding their War Dead in North America. For example, the Canadian Agency monitors war graves of some 190 German War Dead interred in the Kitchener Woodland Cemetery, Ontario and 20 French military graves in Montgomery, Alabama, USA.

Inspection Cycle and Maintenance Programme

Canadian Agency personnel conduct a six-year cyclical inspection and maintenance programme of all war graves, memorials and structures in its care throughout North America.

The Canadian Agency has an aggressive structural refurbishment and replacement
programme in place with larger projects progressing in conjunction with horticultural improvements.

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Victoria Royal Oak Burial
Park, British Columbia

A project to refurbish the Commonwealth Air Forces Field of Honour in Victoria Royal Oak Burial Park was completed in 2007.

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Vancouver Ross Bay Cemetery, British Columbia

Another major works and horticultural project in a First World War plot was completed in 2006 in Victoria's Ross Bay Cemetery. The plot comprises 70 burials: 57 War Dead and 13 Veterans. The nearby Cross of Sacrifice was refurbished in 2010.

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Victoria Memorial, British Columbia

The Victoria Memorial, located in Victoria Ross Bay Cemetery, was refurbished in 2008-2009. The four side panels were ground down to remove the old inscriptions. The new inscriptions which include Historical Notices were inscribed on the clean faces.

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Vancouver Mountain View Cemetery, British Columbia

A five-year joint works project with Veterans Affairs Canada of the First World War plot in the Jones 45 section of Vancouver Mountain View Cemetery was completed in 2009. The plot comprises 394 burials and a Cross of Sacrifice. Most of those buried are War Dead but there are also many Veterans. This plot is the resting place of the largest concentration of Commonwealth War Dead in North America, whose graves are marked by upright markers. It has been horticulturally developed and now resembles a Commission cemetery overseas.

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Kamloops Mount Pleasant Cemetery, British Columbia

A works and horticultural project was completed in section D of Kamloops Mount Pleasant Cemetery in 2009. Twenty-five headstones commemorating War Dead from the First World War were replaced. The new headstones were installed in new continuous beam foundations. The plot has been horticulturally developed.


Winnipeg Brookside Cemetery, Manitoba

Another major works and horticultural project took place in the Military Section 1-150 of Winnipeg Brookside Cemetery; it was completed in 2008. It is another First World War plot which has 151 burials: 141 War Dead and 10 Veterans. One unique aspect of the plot is its "teardrop" shape, with the headstones arrayed in three concentric teardrop-shaped formations. It represents the second largest concentration of Commonwealth War Dead in North America whose graves are marked by upright markers. A Cross of Sacrifice is also located in this section and Canada's only Stone of Remembrance is on a land "island" some 200 metres away.

   
   
   

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Ottawa Memorial, Ontario

Many of the paving stones at the Ottawa Memorial were replaced in 2010 since the former stones had cracked over the years. The four panels, which bear the names of over 790 Commonwealth air force casualties, were re-finished in 2012.

   
   

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Halifax Memorial, Nova Scotia

The Halifax Memorial was cleaned in 2010 and a number of its commemorative panels were refurbished as well.

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Forth Worth Greenwood Memorial Park, Texas, USA

A works project was completed in 2010 in Greenwood Memorial Park in Forth Worth, Texas, USA. The headstones commemorating eleven War Dead from the First World War were replaced and installed in continuous beam foundations.

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Miami Woodlawn Cemetery, Florida, USA

A works project was completed in 2011 in Woodlawn Cemetery in Miami, Florida, USA. Thirteen Commission flat markers were replaced by upright Commission headstones and installed in continuous beam foundations. This particular plot was developed horticulturally in 2012.

Modified: 2016-08-22
Copyright © 2007 Commonwealth War Graves Commission (Canada)