The Unknown Soldier

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  • front and left side
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  • front plaque
  • rear plaque
  • sign

Municipality/Province: Red Deer, AB

Memorial Number: 48022-008

Type: Bronze statue and sandstone shaft

Address: Ross Street

GPS Coordinates: Lat: 52.26905   Long: -113.81224

Contributor: Roy Frisken; Shelley Respondek, Victoria Edwards

Photo Credit: Roy Frisken; Shelley Respondek

The Unknown Soldier, the iconic statue standing atop the Red Deer Cenotaph is a designated Municipal and a Provincial Historic Resource. Since 1922, the Cenotaph has stood as a memorial and tribute to those who "made the supreme sacrifice" in the wars. Of the 850 young men and women from Red Deer and district who left to serve in the distant Great War, 118 of these were killed during the war. On May 20, 1920 the Memorial and Community Building Committee met to discuss the need for a memorial monument.

The committee selected the centre of Ross Street as the site for a memorial. Major Frank Norbury, a sculptor in Edmonton, was chosen to sculpt the Unknown Soldier. Local architect, C.A. Julian Sharman designed the base for the Cenotaph. In the early 1920s, over $5,000 in donations were raised to cover the entire cost of the project. The Cenotaph was unveiled on September 15, 1922.

Parchment rolls with the names of those killed in the First World War were placed in the copper box in the pedestal. Another roll lists the names of all those from Red Deer and district who served in the First World War. After the Second World War the bronze plaque on the Cenotaph was updated to include those who died during the Second World War and a parchment listing their names was placed in the pedestal. In 1988, the plaque was updated again to include those who died in the Korean War.

In 2011, the area surrounding the Cenotaph was enhanced to create Veterans’ Park, a place for people to relax, while learning about the Red Deerians and Central Albertans that have served in wars and peace-keeping missions.

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Inscription found on memorial

[front plaque/plaque du devant]

IN PROUD AND GRATEFUL REMEMBRANCE OF THOSE WHO MADE THE SUPREME SACRIFICE IN THE WARS

1914 - 1918

1939 - 1945

1950 - 1953

[rear plaque/plaque de l'arrière]

IF YE BREAK FAITH WITH US WHO DIE WE SHALL NOT SLEEP THOUGH POPPIES GROW IN FLANDERS FIELDS

Note

This information is provided by contributors and Veterans Affairs Canada makes it available as a service to the public. Veterans Affairs Canada is not responsible for the accuracy, currency or reliability of the information.

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