Monday, June 29, 2009

PDP #63: Fred Grant Square

It seems as if every Canadian community of village-size and greater, so long as it existed before 1914, must have its own war memorial. That's no surprise thanks to places like Passchendaele and the Somme. Many of them are simple and straightforward in their own way, such as in Long Branch, others with cenotaphs carved with the names of the fallen, or monuments in cities such as Toronto inscribed with the battles and wars where they fell.

My old hometown Barrie has its own memorial in Fred Grant Square, between Dunlop Street and Kempenfelt Bay, in the heart of its vestigial downtown. The statue of the soldier on top helps, I think, to ground it. While the war memorials in Peterborough and Vimy Ridge do include statues, in both places they're symbolic representations of Canada; I think the choice of the First World War soldier at Fred Grant Square represents well the down-to-earth attitudes of what was, at the time, a small-to-middling Central Ontario community.

It makes the war less of an apocalypse and more a thing of men.

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  1. The village of Harold near Peterborough has its own war memorial. There are only about a half dozen buildings in the entire village.

    The war memorial has a bust on it. I wonder if that's the bust of the only man from the village to serve (or perhaps to die) in the war.

  2. Hi Andrew,
    Thanks for this info and the use of your lovely cenotaph photo taken in Fred Grant Square.
    You made be interested in my project.

    If we use your photo you will get full credit for it.

    Check out the "Locations" on my web and I encourage you and others to send photos of cenotaphs from their travels. We are especially interested in the 300 statuary cenotaphs of the 6,000 war memorials dedicated to Canadian military from 1914 to date.

    Only a few are depicted on my web so far.

    I need a photo of the London, Ontario cenotaph and many more listed on my web. You may even know of a cenotaph that is not listed and I would appreciate seeing a photo. Thanks.