Arcadia War Memorial

Arcadia War Memorial

Arcadia, Nova Scotia

Made of granite and located on the grounds of the Community Hall in Arcadia. The monument was unveiled on June 2, 1922, in memory of five young men from the area who died in the service in World War I.

The following is the actual newspaper clipping:

"June 25, 1922, War Memorial Unveiled at Arcadia

A ceremony, unique in the history of Arcadia, took place on Sunday afternoon, when a large number of people gathered from town and many sections of the surrounding country, to witness the unveiling ceremonies of the War Memorial, recently erected, of five young men of that place, who were either killed in action or died during the war. The monument, which is of granite, and has been previously described in these columns, is conspicuously situated on a commanding plot of the property recently purchased by the Community Club of that place, to be converted into a playground, or for any purpose that may be seen fit to use it.

On the front of the shaft are the names of the following young men of the Arcadia and Melbourne, who gave their lives in the Great War:

Benjamin H. McGray
Son of Mr. and Mrs. Andrew McGray, born at Melbourne, Yarmouth Co., where he lived until within a few years of enlisting. He enlisted in Halifax in the 15th Unit Canadian Reserve Battalion. Died of pneumonia at Camp Aldershot, England, and buried at Military Cemetery in Aldershot, Hants County, England. Aged 27 years.

George R. Whitman
Son of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Whitman, was born at Arcadia, where he lived until enlisting. Enlisted at Yarmouth in the 85th N.S. Highlanders. Killed in action at Mt. Dury, September 2, 1918, where he was buried. Aged 34 years.

Elmer Lloyd Smith
Son of Mr. and Mrs. John Smith, was born at Little River Harbor. Lived at Melbourne, Yarmouth Co., until 21 years of age, when he moved to Maine. Enlisted in the United States Army. Was a member of the Baptist Church at Melbourne. Died of influenza at Camp Devens Base Hospital, Massachusetts Sept. 29, 1918. His body was brought home and buried in the family lot at Arcadia Cemetery. Aged 22 years.

Alex. Carl Andrews
Son of Mr. and Mrs. Went K. Andrews, was born in the Sandwich Islands. Lived with family in Cuba until 18 years of age, when he enlisted in the United States Navy at Norfolk. Died at Portsmouth, Virginia, Oct. 1, 1918, of influenza. Body was brought to Arcadia, and buried in the family lot.

Percy Berryman
Son of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Berryman, was born at Arcadia. He enlisted at Yarmouth and went overseas, was gassed and died at the Sanitorium, Kentville, July 15, 1919, and was buried in Yarmouth. Aged 22 years.

The services on Sunday were under the auspices of the G.W.V.A. and S.O. Hood as president of that organization occupied the chair. After the convocation by Rev. H.H. Phinney, pastor of the Arcadia U.B. church, several appropriate addresses were made by P.L. Hatfield, M.P., Rev. Francis G. Brown, a former pastor of the Arcadia Methodist church, Lt.-Col. McKay, who last week as a Brigade Commander, inspected the 34th Battery, C.F.A., Rev. P.M. Hamilton and Lt.-Col. Seeley, H.W. Corning, M.L.A. At the conclusion Chairman Hood spoke briefly.

Mr. Hatfield in his address spoke of the occasion as: Being unique in the history of Arcadia, for never before had the people of that place been called upon to conduct a service of similar character. To honour our dead, he said, is the purpose of our assembling this afternoon.

Without reciting all the history in detail which has brought us to this hour, (as there are others who will speak of these events) let me say in brief, that when in 1914 the call came to defend our country and our national honour in the late World War, there were those from our midst who heard that call and took up arms in defence of the realm, in defence of the land they loved, and in true loyalty of King and Country they pledged themselves even unto death.

For four long, weary, anxious, and to some, cruel and fateful years, there raged the most cruel, vicious and devilish war in the history of time. I need not recall to you the awful fact of those German inventions of Hell, the poison gas, the submarine war upon innocent women and children, the Nurse Cavel incident, and untold horrors we know not of, and perhaps better so. These things will last as long as memory lasts.

... Witness the wicked destruction of the Great Cathedral and works of Art in France which to France contained the very Soul of the Nation, and then listen to the reply of the German intellect or to the Wail of France, "Perish every masterpiece rather than one German soldier". But it is the spirit of these boys we honour today which said, "Perish every British soldier, but save the soul and honour of the Nation".

May I not, in a personal way, say to the fathers and mothers, the brothers and sisters, to the widows and the children of those who have gone, that the Great Heavenly Father, the Great Compassionate God of Love, is too tender and too kind to wound and hurt except in Love. He has bereaved you in order that his cause may go on. It is the onward march of God that underlies all the sacrifice of a righteous war.

God give us grace to live as these men died.
"In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea. With a glory in his bosom that transfigures you and me. As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free. While God is marching on".

The address of Mr. Brown, Cols. Seeley and McKay, were of a most eulogistic nature and referred especially to Sgt. Major George R. Whitman, with all of whom he had been intimately associated during the days of the war as well as with S.C. Hood, who also paid his tribute of praise. Mr. Brown and Col. McKay spoke of his great valour as a soldier and also of the moment when he led his men over the top at Mount Dury and fell facing the enemy. Both speakers were profound in their praises of his career as a soldier and as Col. McKay said it was soldiers of his type that the whole of Canada might well be proud, for it was through their work and their deeds that saved our fair Dominion from German barbarism, while from those boys left over there a message still comes that we, who are spared to enjoy to the full the liberties for which they fought and died, must carry on, that we not break faith with our heroic sons, and if we should may God forget us.

Col. Seeley also spoke eloquently concerning Sgt. Major Whitman, and touched on his career as a soldier previous to the Great War. The Colonel told of Sgt. Whitman as he entered the artillery many years ago when people appeared to delight in belittling the life of an artilleryman or militiaman and as one was going along the street the remark of "tin soldier" would be heard, but in the speaker's opinion the career of a soldier of Sgt. Whitman's standing would cheapen the finest gold.

Mr. Corning in his remarks referred to the celebration of Saturday to commemorate Canada's Natal Day while today we are unveiling a monument erected to do honour to those boys or men, who went forth to do battle, if need be due, that we who were left at home might live in peace. He also reviewed, briefly, Canada's history from Confederation and how with four provinces in 1867 this vast Dominion had increased to nine provinces and when the call to arms was heard in 1914 it was the men from these nine provinces who banded together to assist and defend the Empire. It was the way that Canada went that gave assistance and the spirit of "this much for Canada" which dominated those men who went overseas, that has given this Dominion the present high position the country now holds.

At the conclusion of the addresses Mr. Hatfield read the names inscribed on the monument and as he did so, beautiful floral wreaths were placed at the foot of the monument by Margaret Allen, Shirley Boyd, Dorothy Trefry, Hilda Smith and Hattie Andrews. As the last wreath was placed, the Yarmouth Concert Band played "The Maple Leaf Forever", and as it did so the flags which enshrouded the monument, a Canadian ensign and a Stars and Stripes, the latter in honor of the two men who had enlisted in the United States Forces, were raised on a staff at the rear to half mast, where they were held until a trumpeter sounded the Last Post, when the colors were raised to the peak. Rev. Reginald Roach, pastor of the Arcadia Methodist Church, pronounced the benediction.

The whole service was of a most impressive nature. The committee in charge were ably assisted in the ceremony by a number of men from the 84th Battery, who formed in a circle as a guard of honor and their presence served much to lend dignity to the occasion and also was a silent tribute to the heroes whose names are emblazoned on that massive granite slab.

At the conclusion of the service the members of the band and also of the 84th Battery were entertained at supper by the members of the Women's Institute of Arcadia."

Arcadia War Memorial

The cannon is a part of the grounds set aside for the monument. It is at the rear just out of sight of the tree to the right of the monument.

Every year, a memorial service is held at the site with the local school students in attendance and laying the wreaths. The students from grades 4 - 6 parade from the school.

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