Saturday, 21 April 2012
Location: N 44° 35.384 W 075° 41.069 Located in Court House Square, in the median of Court House Avenue and King Street.
The Brockville War Memorial was constructed in memory of the men of Brockville, who gave their lives for King and Country in the Great War, and in grateful remembrance of those who shared its danger. Unveiled on May 23, 1924, this monument has not only been used on November 11th, but also as a saluting base for various regiments when holding reunions to honour their dead.
The Town of Brockville, under the leadership of Mayor W.B. Reynolds, was responsible for building the war memorial at the foot of Court House Avenue and King Street. Alderman N.G. Sommerville was the chairman of the project.
The memorial is 22.5 feet in height and is reported to weigh 100 tons. It is comprised of a granite base with supporting abutments and stations a bronze figure of an advancing Canadian soldier fully equipped for battle. The soldier holds a rifle with a fixed bayonet in the extended left arm, while the right arm is in the act of throwing a hand grenade.
From the base rises the main shaft, which carries on its front the following inscription: "In honoured memory of the men of Brockville who gave their lives for King and Country in the Great War, and in grateful remembrance of those who shared its dangers 1914-1919 1939-1945."
Above the main shaft is a plinth for the higher shaft. On the front and rear edges reads the inscription: "Their names liveth for evermore." The higher shaft below the soldier carries the 1832 crest of the Municipality and below it the quotation: "To you from falling hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high, if ye break faith with us who die, we shall not sleep, though poppies grow in Flanders Fields." On the back of the monument, an inscription reads: "Greater love hath no man than this - that a man lay down his life for his friends. Korea 1950-1953."
On the East and West sides of the upper shaft are Christian crosses with a memorial wreath at the foot. Against the wreath are piled the pouches, haversack, bayonet scabbard and steel helmet of a soldier. Below this are the battle areas in which the men of Brockville served (on the East side, Passchendaele, Amiens, Arras and Cambrai; on the West side, Ypres, Sanctuary, Wood, Courcelette and Vimy Ridge). In later years, the monument text came to include the dates 1939-1945 and Korea 1950-1953.
The statue of the soldier is made of bronze and was sculpted by Nicholas Pirotton - a Belgian who had moved to Canada. The figure was cast by the Allis Chalmers Company of Toronto. The war memorial was built and erected by the McIntose Granite Company of Toronto.
The unveiling of the monument was held on Friday, May 23, 1924, with a large number of veterans and citizens present. The unveiling was performed by the Right Honorable George P. Graham, who was, at that time, the Minister of Railroads and Canals of Canada. Member of Parliament, Mr. H.A. Stewart, congratulated the Town Council, the Committee and the people of Brockville for the completion of the memorial, and reminded people of what it stood for. The memorial was dedicated by the Chaplain of the Brockville Rifles, Honorary Captain A.F.C. Whalley. In the parade, were the Brockville Rifles and The Royal Canadian Army Cadets from the Brockville Collegiate. Also present were students from all the public schools. The Brockville Rifles performed a Three Valley Salute and the bugler sounded the Last Post.
The Brockville War Memorial is now a historical site and is well looked after each year by the City of Brockville. **text taken from www.cdli.ca/monuments