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The Volunteer War Memorial

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Municipality/Province: Almonte, ON

Memorial Number: 35040-001

Type: Statue and wall (bronze and granite)

Address: 14 Bridge Street

Location: Next to the Almonte Old Town Hall, on the corner of Little Bridge Street & Bridge Street

GPS Coordinates: Lat: 45.2257079   Long: -76.1940569

Submitted By: Terry MacDonald; Joseph Leblanc; Colonel Andre D. Gauthier (CF Ret'd/ret. des FC); MBdr./bdrc Paul Charlebois; Mark Ward

The title of this memorial is "THE VOLUNTEER". It was sculpted by R. Tait McKenzie and dedicated September 11, 1923, and was constructed in memory of the men of Almonte who fell for freedom in the First and Second World Wars and the Korean War. The memorial was requested by Alexander Rosamond in a letter he wrote to his family in July 1916. He was a lieutenant in the Princess Patricia Canadian Light Infantry who had taken over leadership of the Rosamond Woollen Company from Bennett Rosamond. He noted that, if he did not return, he hoped a memorial could be built in a central place in Almonte, "to the men of Almonte who fell for freedom."

Lt. Alex Rosamond was killed in action at Courcelette during the battle of the Somme on September 15, 1916. His widow made sure his wishes were carried out and asked Dr. Robert Tait McKenzie, a local boy, to create the memorial. Although Dr. McKenzie was a full professor at the University of Pennsylvania, he returned to his native town of Almonte, after an absence of nearly forty years to construct this monument. Most of the work was done in the garage at Pinehurst on Union Street, the home of Mrs. Alex Rosamond. This formerly was the carriage house of the Bennett Rosamond estate. Mrs. Rosamond wanted the memorial to have a likeness to her late husband, based on photographs. The finished work looked so much like her late husband that she had it changed. Mrs. Rosamond also left $1000.00 for its upkeep. The memorial was redone in 1967.

It is said that "The Volunteer" recalls the spirit of adventure of Dr. McKenzie's own early days in Almonte. This poem called "The Volunteer" was written by Ethel McKenzie, Dr. McKenzie's wife.

He watches - in a little northern town,
Through winter cold and parching summer heat,
Where quiet folk go simply up and down,
O'er stony bridge and narrow crooked street.
He guards - alone - alert, with clenched hand,
In readiness with his young manhood's might,
To spring to action at a word's command,
Uphold his honour and defend his right.
He watches - while the children leave their play.
To lay their garlands clustered at his feet,
Zinnias and asters from home gardens gay,
In little hands held close and warm and sweet.
He smiles - he leans - and every winsome maid
Feels in her heart this joyous chivalry,
And lads look starry - eyed and unafraid
To grow to manhood strong and brave as he.
He watches. Oh, ye men with him who fell!
Mighty of valour, bold, unflinching free!
Here, in this place, your spirits seem to dwell,
Drawn to the home of your mortality.
He waits! Nor shall his vigil be in vain,
Men like to him shall ever pay the price;
Shun all dishonour, scorn the thought of pain,
And make the great immortal sacrifice!

Source: Gerry Wheatley, Almonte Gazette, November 12, 1986.

 

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Inscription found on memorial

[Front, centre/Devant, au centre]

THE 

VOLUNTEER

 

ERECTED TO CARRY OUT A BEQUEST

MADE BY THE LATE

ALEXANDER GEORGE ROSAMOND  P.P.C.L.I.

KILLED AT COURCELETTE

SEPTEMBER 15, 1916



[First World War/Première Guerre mondiale]

TO THE MEN OF ALMONTE WHO FELL FOR FREEDOM

 

1914 - 1918

FRANK ABRAM

EDWIN K. AITKEN

E. AMOURETTE

WM. ALFRED BERRY

LOUIS C. BOLTON

FRANK S. BROWN

ROBERT H. COCHRAN

THOMAS R. COLLIER

J.P. CORKERY

JOHN L. CLEARY

ROY DICKENSON

WILLIAM DYSON

WILLIAM EVOY

GEORGE FAIRBAIRN

WILLIAM FAIRBAIRN

SAMUEL FISHER

W. FORSYTHE

FARQUHAR C. FRASER

ARCHIBALD GREIG

FREDERICK HAYNES

JOHN HOLLAND

EDWARD HOUSTON

EDWARD HOUSTON

A.H. ILLINGWORTH 

JAMES JOSS

J.T. KIRKLAND

THOMAS KNIGHT

ARCHIBALD KEAN

THOMAS W. LEE

JOHN L. McDOUGALL

GEORGE E. McGREGOR

JAMES P. McGUIRE

HARRY McINTOSH

ALLAN McPHAIL

ARTHUR E.G. STRATFORD

PETER J. MOORE

ROBERT NAISMITH

LESLIE OWRID

C. PARKER

F.J. PARKIN

ARTHUR C. PAUL

E.A.P. PLUNKETT

ALEX G. ROSAMOND

JAMES SINCLAIR

SAMUEL SYKES

ROBERT WEEKS

ARTHUR WHITE

ROY WILSON

JAMES WRIGHT

ARCHIBALD WYLIE

[Second World War, Korea, Peacekeeping/ Deuxième Guerre mondiale, la Guerre de la Corée, Maintien de la paix]

1939 - 1945

WALLACE BLAKELY

DONALD BADOUR

WILMER CAMELON

DON CAMERON

FRANK CAVERS

BERT DUNCAN

F. DALGITY

FRANK FISHER

ALEX. GOODALL

RAYMOND HOUSTON

WM. HEFFERMAN

GEORGE JACKMAN

RUSSELL JAMES

CARL LEE

JOSEPH LALONDE

J.F. LAVIGNE

EDGAR LEE

JAMES McINTOSH

KENNETH MILLER

JAMES PYE

LLOYD REID

HAROLD K. SCHULTZ

NORMAN SMITH

RAYMOND STANLEY

WM. STANLEY

J. MAC STEWART

V. STEWART

HAROLD STOKES

 

KOREA   1950 - 1953

 

PEACEKEEPING

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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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