Fredericton, New Brunswick
Dedicated on Nov. 11,
1923, in memory of those who died during W.W.I.
Very shortly after the end of World War I, a
group of public-spirited citizens decided that
some form of lasting memorial should be erected
in Fredericton to honour those members of the
community who laid down their lives for their
country during the conflict. A committee was
formed, called the Fredericton War Memorial
Committee, under the chairmanship of Mr. Justice
O. Crocket of the Supreme Court of Canada,
formerly Member of Parliament for York-Sunbury,
to study the matter and to
transform the thought into action.
A tall shaft of stone, suitably based and
landscaped, was decided upon as being
appropriate, and the site favoured was the
triangular plot of land bounded by Church, King
and Queen Streets. This land, the property of the
Cathedral, was assigned to the Committee by the
Rt. Rev. John H. Richardson, Bishop of
Fredericton, on behalf of the Cathedral, for use
as the memorial site.
Plans submitted by a Quebec firm were selected
and the necessary funds were raised by public
subscription. The site was surveyed by Mr. Andrew
MacVey, Chief Bridge Engineer of the Provincial
Department of Public Works, who had been
approached by the Committee for consultation and
advice on positioning and erecting the memorial.
As specifications and plans did not convey a
realistic picture to the Committee, Mr. MacVey
constructed a cardboard model of the memorial so
that, when opinions within the committee differed
as to which way the memorial should face - up
river, down river, toward the Cathedral or
whatever - he was able to demonstrate with his
model just how it would appear from any
particular direction. Mr. MacVey also designed
the layout of the lettering. The erection of the
Cenotaph of Quebec stone was proceeded with at a
cost of approximately $20,000 - a sizable sum of
money in those days.
It was dedicated on November 11, 1923, in a
ceremony in which Frederictonians paid fitting
tribute to their townsmen who had made the
supreme sacrifice, and during which were called
out the names of each of the one hundred and nine
"Men of Fredericton Who Laid Down Their
Lives in the Great War and Whose Names are Here
Gratefully recorded by Their Fellow
In later years, the Cenotaph was floodlighted
and bronze plaques were added commemorating those
who fell in World War II and the Korean War. A
beautiful memorial, it is an honour and a credit
to those citizens of bygone days who regarded it
as a solemn duty to perpetuate the memory and the
deeds and sacrifices of the fallen. The City
authorities have been diligent in keeping the
Cenotaph clean and well-landscaped.
With its classic dignity and fine surroundings,
it evokes a poignancy which is ever present but
which seems almost physical and bayonet sharp on
Remembrance Day when the haunting notes of Last
Post, the supreme trumpet call, the saluting guns
reverberate across the river to fade among
distant elms into a silence that suddenly seems
even deeper than before.
"At the going down of the
sun, and in the morning
We will remember them."
Momentarily, there is a unity of resolve, a
tightening of flesh, an ineffable loneliness as
the ringing words rekindle a host of memories
among the hushed assembly.
In the first few years following World War I
the Armistice Day (later redesignated as
Remembrance Day) ceremonies in Fredericton were
organized by The Imperial Order, Daughters of the
Empire (Sir Howard Douglas Chapter) but, since
1928, Fredericton Branch of the Canadian Legion
has always made the arrangements. The standard
bearers of the various I.O.D.E. Chapters have
continued to attend as a body.
The following were members of the Fredericton
War memorial Committee which raised the monument:
|Hon. Mr. Justice
The Countess of Ashburnham
Lt. Col. T.G. Loggie
His Lordship Bishop Richardson
His Worship, Mayor J.A. Reid
Lt. Col. C.J. Mersereau
Alderman George H. Clarke
Hon. Mr. Justice Barry
R. FitzRandolph, Esq.
R.B. Hanson, K.C., M.P.
G.N.C. Hawkins, Esq.
U.New Brunswick Chancellor C.C. Jones, LLD
Mrs. N. Dougherty
C.A. MacVey, Esq.
J. Stewart Neill, Esq.
Alderman J.A. Cain
Alderman F.L. Cooper
Alderman Harry A. Smith
J.J.F. Winslow, K.C.
W.D. Gunter, Esq.
John T. Jennings, Esq.
E. Allison MacKay - Secretary
In recent years, a plaque
commemorating Merchant Seamen was added.
A History of the Fredericton