Canadian First World War Memorials

Foremost among memorials is the National War Memorial in Ottawa's Confederation Square. The 23 figures in its archway represent all arms of the service. The memorial was originally built to commemorate the Canadians who served during the First World War and the more than 66,000 of whom that gave their lives. The memorial has since been rededicated to also honour those who served in the Second World War (1939 - 1945) and the Korean War (1950 - 1953).

In the Memorial Chamber of the Peace Tower of the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa the story of Canada in the First World War is inscribed in marble panels set in the walls. On the central altar rests the First World War Book of Remembrance.

Of the 105,210 members of the British forces of the First World War who have no known graves, 19,660 were Canadian. The names of these men are inscribed on memorials in Canada and Europe. There are 11,285 on the Vimy Memorial, and 6,994 on the Commonwealth Memorial at the Menin Gate in Ypres. On the Newfoundland Memorial at Beaumont-Hamel are the names of 814 Newfoundlanders who have no known grave.

In front of the National War Memorial lies the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, in which the body of an unidentified Canadian soldier exhumed from a war cemetery near Vimy Ridge was reinterred in a special ceremony in 2000. He represents all Canadians who have given their lives in conflicts and have no known grave.

Canada has in France and Belgium 13 battlefield memorials commemorating the exploits of Canadian and Newfoundland troops in the First World War. Two of these, Vimy and Beaumont-Hamel, were also used by the Imperial (now Commonwealth) War Graves Commission to commemorate the names of those whose last resting places are unknown. All the Memorials are maintained by the Commission acting for Canada. The five memorials erected by Newfoundland following the First World War became the responsibility of the Government of Canada when Newfoundland entered Confederation in 1949.

Memorials in Belgium

Courtrai Newfoundland Memorial:
The action of Newfoundland forces in the Battle of Lys in October 1918.
Hill 62 (Sanctuary Wood) Canadian Memorial:
The part played by Canadian troops in the defence of the Ypres Salient, especially during the period April to August 1916.
Passchendaele Canadian Memorial:
The capture of Crest Farm by the Canadian Corps and the Battle of Passchendaele in 1917.
St. Julien Canadian Memorial:
The heroic stand of the 1st Canadian Division in the first gas attack at Ypres in 1915.

Memorials in France

Beaumont-Hamel Newfoundland Memorial:
The action of the 1st Newfoundland Regiment in the Battle of the Somme on July 1, 1916.
Bourlon Wood Canadian Memorial:
The crossing of the Canal du Nord, capture of Bourlon Wood and rupture of the final Hindenburg Line defences on September 27, 1918.
Courcelette Canadian Memorial:
The part played by the Canadian Corps in forcing back the German troops on the slopes of the Somme from September to November, 1916.
Dury Canadian Memorial:
The capture of the Drocourt-Quéant Switch and the breaking of the Hindenburg Line on September 2, 1918, during the Second Battle of Arras.
Gueudecourt Newfoundland Memorial:
The action of the Newfoundland forces in the Somme Battle on October 12, 1916.
Le Quesnel Canadian Memorial:
The attack by the Canadian Corps, 100,000 strong, on August 8, 1918, which drove the enemy back a distance of 13 kilometres.
Masnières Newfoundland Memorial:
The participation of the Newfoundland forces in the Battle of Cambrai on November 20, 1917.
Monchy-le-Preux Newfoundland Memorial:
The Newfoundlanders' participation in the Battle of Arras on April 14, 1917.
Canadian National Vimy Memorial:
The capture of Vimy Ridge by the Canadian Corps on April 9, 1917.
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