Chemainus Memorial Cenotaph
Chemainus, British Columbia

Constructed in July 1920 in memory of those who gave their lives in World War I and World War II. Their names are inscribed on the Cenotaph.

Pre 1914, 1,500 citizens enlisted for the war voluntarily from the Cowichan District, at that time the population stood between 6,500 and 7,000 residence.

After a meeting with some of the council members a request was made by a Mr. Jarrnett requesting a site for a War Memorial in Chemainus. The request was finally granted by a council on July 28, 1920. This was the beginning of a memorial honoring those comrades who paid the supreme sacrifice in World War I.

The Memorial was erected on 616 square feet of land that was donated by the Council. The intersection of Mill Road and Albert Street with the English church on one corner and the court house and jail on the other became the site for the monument.

Requests were made to the council on two occasions to have them consider the donation of two machine guns that would be placed at the memorial. The first request was made by an Alfred Stubbs on June 15, 1921. The second by a Reverend R.D. Porter who at the time held the position of honorable Secretary, Chemainus Committee of the Duncan B.C. Board of Trade. His request was made a few days later on June 21, as he felt that Chemainus should be entitled to some of its War trophies. A Naval gun was donated instead which was placed at the Memorial. No record could be found of what became of the two machine guns in later years.

Consequently, as years went by, streets were being changed and the Memorial became part of those changes and had to be moved. Comrade D. Greenhorn, one of the Legion members, was commissioned to do the stonework for it's new base. In August 1950 after a few minor delays it was finally moved to its present location on Willow Street across from the United Church. The Royal Canadian Legion Branch #191 took over the care of the grounds after the Community Committee failed to live up to their promise of maintaining the grounds.

Dedication Ceremonies were held in September 1950. Names of World War II casualties were added along with a plaque honouring the Korean Veterans.

The Legion Branch President during 1950 was F. Bonde. The Cenotaph Committee consisted of Comrades W. Rice, Deeble and Olson.

Each Remembrance Day on November 11th. the Comrades of Branch 191 have a service to honour those who paid the supreme sacrifice and so that their names would never be forgotten.


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