National War Memorial, Ottawa, Canada

Vernon March
Date Built
Unveiled 21 May 1939
Confederation Square
The Canadian National War Memorial occupies a site across Wellington Street from the Houses of Parliament and not far from the Chateau Frontenac.  It was originally designed to commemorate those who gave up their lives in World War One but over the years it has been rededicated to include those who fought in the Second World War and the Korean War.  In 2000 the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was added to the site.

The memorial was designed by the British sculptor Vernon March following a competition launched in 1925.  The Veterans Affairs Canada website says that Vernon's proposal was to create what he called, " ... 'The Great Response of Canada', represented by uniformed figures from all services passing through a granite arch. The idea, March wrote, was 'to perpetuate in this bronze group the people of Canada who went Overseas to the Great War, and to represent them, as we of today saw them, as a record for future generations...' There was to be no suggestion of glorifying war."

Vernon died in 1930 before the figures were completed but the work was finished by his brothers and sister at their foundry in Hampshire. The completed figures were apparently displayed in London's Hyde Park for 6 months in 1933 while work was completed on the granite arch.  The arch was built by E.G.M. Cape and Company of Montreal. The memorial was completed in time for the visit of King George VI in 1939 and he unveiled it at 11 o'clock on May 21.