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Great War Memorial – 1923

The proposed Great War Memorial Windsor – 1923

From the Border Cities Star – April 6, 1923:

Above is the design submitted by George Y. Masson, local architect, for the Windsor war memorial, to be erected on Giles boulevard west, facing Ouellette avenue. The specifications call for the use of Canadian pink granite and bronze, and the estimated cost is $20,000. Rising to a height of 20 feet, the central shaft bears on its eastern face an incised panel forming a cross, which frames a decorative sword, gilded, symbolizing the supreme sacrifice and its reward. Below the bronze group of life-size figures representing the Navy, Army and Air Force are holding aloft a beacon light, indicating that theirs is the duty of carrying on the glorious traditions left by those whom the monument honors. On the walls connecting the ramps to the shaft is an inscription in Latin: “Dulce at decorum pro patria mori est” – (Sweet and right it is to die for one’s country). This lettering is cut into the stone and gilded, which links it to the sword shining above. The ramps each hold a bronze tablet bearing the names or the fallen and the major engagements of the war. Flanking each tablet are carved conventionalized swords in half relief, entwined with sprays of laurel, symbolizing victory even in death. Immediately below, stone lion heads form brackets to hold bronze flagstaffs surmounted with small laurel wreaths. The colors are to be flown on anniversary dates and for reviews, etc. On the front faces of the ramps are narrow panels of carved maple leaf sprays, symbolic of Canada.
On the west elevation of the shaft it is proposed to place the general inscription and to have each connecting
wall hold three round basreliefs representing the insignia of the Navy, Army. Air Force, Medical Corps, War
Workers and civilian population. At night it is proposed to floodlight the upper part of the shaft only, by light concealed in the bronze group in front. A Canadian sculptor of outstanding ability would execute this group.

The war memorial, slightly scaled down, was built and dedicated on November 11, 1924 at the corner of Gilles and Ouellette.

Looking east from Gilles & Ouellette – 1952 – Photo from SWODA

In 1965, the War Memorial was dismantled stone by stone, and the entire monument was rebuilt at City Hall Square where it remains to this day.

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