There are very few towns, cities, and villages in the world that have not been affected by war. Communities have long felt sadness and loss as young men and women were sent to serve, leaving behind families and loved ones. Some who served never returned home. In rural communities and small towns in Yarmouth County, the ravages of war were felt very hard. As a means to honour and commemorate fallen men and women, a War Memorial was erected on what is now the grounds of the Izaak Walton Killam Library on Main Street.
The War Memorial is inscribed with the names of 173 people who lost their lives during the First World War. Each name is not just an etching on marble but also a testament to their bravery and sacrifice. The monument was unveiled on June 9th, 1923, by the sister of Malcolm Cann. Malcolm Cann along with three others, were the first Canadians to be killed in the line of duty in the First World War.
Work on the monument was a labor of love for the community, with a committee established to oversee all aspects of its creation. Funds were raised, names were submitted, which were then checked and rechecked for spelling. It didn’t take long for the necessary money to be raised, as people willingly gave to this important cause.
Some of the names on the monument include:
Spencer Allen who lost his life on the last day of Bloody April in the Battle of Arras. He was an aerial observer and was shot down by Lethar Von Richthefen. His name appears first on the monument.
Arthur Burgess who appears 16th on the monument, was killed by an accidental explosion.
Some soldiers, such as George Hubbard made it back from the war but sadly passed away in 1922 of tuberculosis. George is 86th on the monument.
On many occasions, families tragically lost several members. This is what happened to David W. Roy and his two brothers who died because of the war. David is 139th on the monument.
Nursing Sister Adruenna Tupper, the 164th name on the monument, was deserted with the Royal Red Cross. Adruenna died in 1916 of pneumonia.
The book, A Monument Speaks, was written in 1989 by Arthur Thurston, which tells more stories of the brave men and women commemorated by the monument.
The Yarmouth War Memorial was one of the first monuments in Canada to be erected in dedication to the men and woman who served during the Great War, and still stands as a symbol of remembrance.