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Memorial Chamber Niche (No. 1)

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Municipality/Province: Ottawa, ON

Memorial Number: 35059-063

Type: Niche and marble plaque

Address: 111 Wellington Street

Location: Parliament Hill, Peace Tower, Memorial Chamber

GPS Coordinates: Lat: 45.4232852   Long: -75.6982919

Submitted By: Victoria Edwards

This memorial Niche (no. 1) was created by artists/sculptor Ira Lake and A. Fortescue Duguid, from 1926 to 1928. It is made of Chateau-Gaillard stone and marble. The walls are divided into 17 niches, each comprising a cusped blind arch crowned with a gablet and finial, and incorporating a marble slab at the lower level.

The sculptural ornamentation, based on research by Col. A. Fortescue Duguid and assisted by Captains J.I.P. Neal and F. Cummins, includes the following elements

1. Moulding: Badges and insignia of Canada's 178 pre-1914 militia regiments. Niche no. 1: The Royal Canadian Dragoons, Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians), The Governor General's Body Guard, 1st Hussars, 2nd Dragoons, 3rd The Prince of Wales' Canadian Dragoons.

2. Pierced quatrefoil panels: Badges and insignia of the Canadian cavalry, and field units other than infantry. Niche no. 1: Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians), The Fort Garry Horse.

3. Diaper background: Badges and insignia of all the French and British regiments and Colonial forces that served in Canada prior to Confederation. Niche no. 1: French regiments serving prior to 1760: Carignan-Salières, Guienne, Béarn, Berry, La Sarre, La Reine, Languedoc, Corps Royal de l'Artillerie.

4. Gablet crockets: Badges and insignia of reinforced battalions. Niche no. 1: 6th (Western Canada) Battalion, 9th Battalion, 11th Battalion, 12th Battalion, 17th Battalion (Seaforth Highlanders of Canada), 23rd (Montreal) Battalion, 30th (British Columbia) Battalion, 32nd (Manitoba and Saskatchewan) Battalion, 33rd Battalion, 34th Battalion, 35th Battalion, 36th Battalion.

5. Gablet springers (shields): Badges and insignia of all branches of the Canadian Corps. Niche no.1: Canadian Artillery and Royal Navy, RCN, RCNVR.

6. Arch quatrefoil and cusps: Badges and insignia of fighting battalions. Niche no.1: Maple Leaf Badge, 1st (Western Ontario) Battalion, 2nd (Eastern Ontario) Battalion.

7. Arch spandrels: Medals and war decorations of the Allied countries. Niche no.1: Victoria Cross and Distinguished Service Order.

8. Shield: Coats of arms appropriate to the historical scenes noted below. Niche no.1: Arms of the city of Plymouth (Great Britain).

9. Low relief panel: Historical scenes and services rendered by Canadians during the Great War. Niche no.1: The Crossing (October 1914)

10. Marble panel: The original narrative panels describing the various theatres of war, campaigns and battles were replaced in 1982 at the request of the Speaker of the House of Commons.

The new panels, engraved in both official languages, give a complete history of Canadian Forces' contribution to peace over the years, starting with the Fenian Raids and ending with the Korean War. Citations were added from the Bible, poems and other literature, including works by Lt-Col. John McCrae, Gabrielle Roy and Earle Birney.

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