1936 National Memorial (Silver) Cross Mother – Charlotte Susan Wood

National Memorial (Silver) Cross Mother Charlotte Susan Wood

(Photo: Library and Archives Canada/PA-148875)

In 1936, Mrs. Charlotte Susan Wood from Winnipeg, Manitoba, became known as the first National Memorial (Silver) Cross Mother when she placed a wreath on the tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Westminster Abbey in London, England, on behalf of all Canadian mothers who have lost a child in military service to their country.

On August 24, 1914, her son, Private Frederick Francis Wood, was killed at Mons, Belgium while serving with the Duke of Cambridge's Own (Middlesex Regiment).

On May 5, 1917, a second son, Private Peter Percy Wood, was killed at Vimy Ridge while serving with the Canadian Infantry (Saskatchewan Regiment).

Mrs. Wood immigrated with part of her family from Britain to take up a 160 acre Dominion Land Grant northwest of Edmonton in September 8, 1911. Seven of Mrs. Wood’s sons/stepsons signed up to serve with either the Canadian or British army during the First World War, two did not return.

She was active with the Canadian Legion, Imperial Veterans of Canada, Comrades of the World, Association of War Widows and the Old Contemptibles Club in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

She was awarded the George V Jubilee Medal in 1935. While on a pilgrimage to attend the unveiling of the Vimy Ridge Memorial in July 1936, Mrs. Wood was presented to King Edward VIII. Seizing the opportunity she said to him, "I have just been looking at the trenches and I just can’t figure out why our boys had to go through that."

He replied, “Please God, Mrs. Wood. It shall never happen again.”

Canada’s famous war mother died three years later, just weeks after the start of another world war. She was buried in an unmarked grave in Winnipeg’s Brookside Cemetery. A new gravestone was erected over 60 years later.

List of National Memorial (Silver) Cross Mothers

(Information courtesy of the Royal Canadian Legion, Canadian War Museum and families of the National Memorial (Silver) Cross Mothers)

2010 - Present
Year Name City/Town
2017 Mrs. Diana Abel Brampton, Ontario
2016 Mrs. Colleen Fitzpatrick Prince George, British Columbia
2015 Mrs. Sheila Anderson Yellowknife, Northwest Territories
2014 Mrs. Gisèle Michaud Edmundston, New Brunswick
2013 Mrs. Niki Psiharis Laval, Quebec
2012 Mrs. Roxanne Priede Grand Forks, British Columbia
2011 Mrs. Patricia Braun Raymore, Saskatchewan
2010 Mrs. Mabel Girouard Bathurst, New Brunswick
1990 - 2009
Year Name City/Town
2009 Mrs. Della Marie Morley East Saint Paul, Manitoba
2008 Mrs. Avril Dianna Stachnik Waskatenau, Alberta
2007 Mrs. Wilhelmina Beerenfenger-Koehler Embrun, Ontario
2006 Mrs. Alice Murphy Conception Harbour, Newfoundland
2005 Mrs. Claire Léger Stittsville, Ontario
2004 Mrs. Agatha Dyer Montreal, Québec
2003 Mrs. Charlotte Lynn Smith Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia
2002 Mrs. Doreen Coolen Hubbards, Nova Scotia
2001 Mrs. Ina Galvin Bolton centre, Québec
2000 Mrs. Carol Isfeld Courtenay, British Columbia
1999 Mrs. Loyola Helen Park London, Ontario
1998 Mrs. Anna Zuk (Prygroski) Winnipeg, Manitoba
1997 Mrs. Alice Taylor Ottawa, Ontario
1996 Mrs. Margaret Langille River John, Nova Scotia
1995 Mrs. Elsie Wells Edmonton, Alberta
1994 Mrs. Wilhelmina Baerr Yorkton, Saskatchewan
1993 Mrs. Isabella Hutchings St. John’s, Newfoundland
1992 Mrs. Ida Orser Hartland, New Brunswick
1991 Mrs. Alice Taylor Ottawa, Ontario
1990 Mrs. Elsie Pearce Trenton, Ontario
1970 - 1989
Year Name City/Town
1989 Mrs. Rachel Morin Rimouski, Quebec
1988 Mrs. Hazel Driscoll Halifax, Nova Scotia
1987 Mrs. Secondina Di Persio Sydney Mines, Nova Scotia
1986 Mrs. Mabel Bateman Richmond Hill, Ontario
1985 Mrs. Rose Bernst Thunder Bay, Ontario
1984 Mrs. Olive (Rumball) Hunter Summerland, British Columbia
1983 Mrs. Constance Wylie Vancouver, British Columbia
1982 Mrs. Janet Fraser Debert, Nova Scotia
1981 Mrs. Isabel Harrison Bury, Quebec
1980 Mrs. Greta Steeves Elgin, Albert County, New Brunswick
1979 Mrs. Eliza Beatty Carlyle, Saskatchewan
1978 Mrs. Janet Cantley Montreal, Quebec
1977 Mrs. Mary Boutilier Niagara Falls, Ontario
1976 Mrs. Olive Rae (Jubb) Victoria, British Columbia
1975 Mrs. Alta Wilkinson Ottawa, Ontario
1974 Mrs. Annie Margaret Rudd Stettler, Alberta
1973 Mrs. Margaret Santo Bender, Saskatchewan
1972 Mrs. Mary Louise McLeod Neyaashiinigmiing, Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation
1971 Mrs. Mary Anderson Selkirk, Manitoba
1970 Mrs. Mary Josephine Meech North Sydney, Nova Scotia
1950 - 1969
Year Name City/Town
1969 Mrs. Wilhemina Gray Vancouver, British Columbia
1968 Mrs. Pearl Rich Vancouver, British Columbia
1967 Mrs. Elsie Adams St. Catharines, Ontario
1966 Mrs. Josephine Stephens Toronto, Ontario
1965 Mrs. Nora Wagner Teeterville, Ontario
1964 Mrs. Bernadette Rivait Windsor, Ontario
1963 Mrs. Mary E. Stodgell Norwood, Manitoba
1962 Mrs. Vitaline Lanteigne Caraquet, New Brunswick
1961 Mrs. Sylvia Kimmel Mission City, British Columbia
1960 Mrs. Julienne Cantin McCreary, Manitoba
1959 Mrs. Dagnie Asta Anderson Craigmyle, Alberta
1958 Mrs. Helen Forestell Coniston, Ontario
1957 Mrs. Zylpha MacFarlane Truro, Nova Scotia
1956 Mrs. Gertrude Edna Reynolds Chatham, Ontario
1955 Mrs. Regina Leboldus Vibank, Saskatchewan
1954 Mrs. Margaret Heeney Ottawa, Ontario
1953 Mrs. Mary Casey Ottawa, Ontario
1952 Mrs. Hannah McCann Ottawa, Ontario
1951 Mrs. Alice Rochon Ottawa, Ontario
1950 Mrs. Susan Beasley Ottawa, Ontario
1936 - 1949
Year Name City/Town
1949 Mrs. Aline D'Aoust Ottawa, Ontario
1948 Mrs. Catherine Helen MacDonald Ottawa, Ontario
1947 Mrs. Martha Labarge Ottawa, Ontario
1944 - 1946 Mrs. Jessie Isobel McCleery Ottawa, Ontario
1943 Mrs. Edith Louisa Coldrey Ottawa, Ontario
1942 Mrs. Sarah Wilkins Lamplough Ottawa, Ontario
1939 - 1941 Mrs. Catherine Lewis Ottawa, Ontario
1936 Mrs. Charlotte Susan Wood Winnipeg, Manitoba
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