Sunday, 12 July 2020

Athens

 
Location:  United Counties of Leeds and Grenville
N 44.626759  W  75.949776
In Memorial Park, 35 Main Street East.
 
This memorial consists of several parts.  The main cenotaph is a stone cairn featuring plaques listing the names of those who died in the World Wars.  
Behind the cenotaph is a "Vimy Oak", planted in September 2017, along with a plaque telling the story of this infamous tree.  
In November 2000, County Road 5, between Athens and Mallorytown was designated as the "Road of Remembrance", and highlights a row of maple trees planted along this route, each with its own cross bearing the name from one of the local plaques. 
One more for Athens. A very small garden dedicated to the WWI soldiers listed on the cenotaph. It is elsewhere found at 1 Main Street, at the Township of Athens Municipal Building.
 
***Once again, thank you to Louise Bellec for the photos and research.


 
 
Marker text:
Stone Cairn: 
 
Top plaque:
KOREA
1950 - 1953
 


 
Middle plaque:
1914 - 1918
TO THE MEMORY OF 
OUR BOYS WHO PAID THE
SUPREME SACRIFICE
IN THE GREAT WAR

ROSS DE WOLFE     FRANK WHITFORD
J. MILLS JOHNSTON     GERALD BOTSFORD
BASIL CONNERTY     LLOYD SCOTT
DELOS SPENCE     JOHN CORR
GORDON KELSEY     EVERETT CROSS
WILLIAM CARL
 


 
Bottom plaque:
1939 - 1945

HONOUR ROLL

IN MEMORY OF OUR MEN WHO MADE THE
SUPREME SACRIFICE IN WORLD WAR II

GNR. ARTHUR DACK
PTE. DONALD COVEY
PIPER MJR. DONALD FRASER
PTE. ELTON IRELAND
FLT./SGT. HUGH LATIMER
CPL. CHARLES RUNHAM
FLT./SGT. JASON STEVENS
CAPT. LESLIE YATES
L.A.C. LAWRENCE YATES

ERECTED BY THE WOMEN'S INSTITUTE OF ATHENS
 
 



 
 
Vimy Oak
Plaque:
This oak tree is a descendant from the few acorns gathered after the Battle of Vimy Ridge by Canadian soldier Lt. Leslie Miller. Not a single oak tree remained standing in the aftermath of the shelling. This tree, a descendant of one of those acorns, is one of the trees planted across Canada to mark the 100th anniversary of this historic Canadian victory. It stands as a living memorial to all
Canadian soldiers who fought in the First World War including the eleven Athens soldiers killed and memorialized on the nearby stone Cairn.

After a sendoff at the Athens train station the soldiers departed for Halifax then sailed to Europe. They found the battlefields of France scarred with huge bomb craters and strewn with the dead and dying.  The weather was atrocious and in the trenches the soldiers stood in cold mud and water, in constant fear of mustard or chlorine gas attacks. The smell of death hung in the air. After 4 days
the innovative strategy and ferocity of the four Canadian divisions prevailed, marking a pivotal moment in Canada's coming of age as a nation.

Under photo:
On their way to war, dust rises as part of the 156th Battalion marches proudly through Athens, c1916
 
 



 
 
Remembrance Garden:
Plaque:
THIS GARDEN WAS PLANTED  IN MEMORY OF

GERALD BOTSFORD
WILLIAM CARL
BASIL CONNERTY
JOHN CORR
EVERETT CROSS
ROSS DE WOLFE
J MILLS JOHNSTON
GORDON KELSEY
LLOYD SCOTT
DELOS SPENCE
FRANK WHITFORD

WHO PAID THE SUPREME SACRIFICE IN THE GREAT WAR 1914-1918
IT REPLACES THE ELEVEN MAPLE TREES
ORIGINALLY PLANTED HERE IN THEIR HONOUR
 
 











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