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This week we will be highlighting the monuments that are in Strathroy, Mount Brydges and Melbourne. 

Today we look at the Strathroy Cenotaph.

Strathroy Armoury ca 1909

Strathroy Armoury ca 1909

In 1909, as part of a campaign by the federal government, a new Armoury was built in Strathroy on Frank Street. Before this time the local militia had met and practiced in a shed near the corner of Adelaide and Scott Streets. The local militia unit was the 26th Regiment of the Middlesex Light Infantry.  During WWI the Armoury was the centre for recruitment of soldiers.

After the war it was only fitting that a War Memorial be placed near the building. 

The town initially was going to erect the monument but due to financial constraints was unable to right after the war.  The Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire (IODE) Mary Armstrong Chapter stepped up and raised the funds within the community to have the monument built.  They advertised in the local papers including the Strathroy Age Dispatch and asked for names to be submitted.  They updated and published this list over a number of months before it was finalized. 

The Strathroy Age Dispatch published an article on April 10, 1924 stating that “Messrs Hambly Brothers were working on the Soldier’s Memorial and that they hoped to have an unveiling later in the summer”.

Strathroy Memorial ca. 1924

Strathroy Memorial ca. 1924

On August 24, 1924 the community assembled in Alexandra Park and paraded to the cenotaph site in front of the Armouries. Teachers of various Sunday Schools saw that their pupils arrived with flowers.  Cars were provided for the next of kin and seats in the town square were ready.  

The program was as follows
Hymn “O God our Help”
Chairman Judge D C Ross – remarks
Unveiling of the monument by Miss Helen Buchanan of Stratford.
Prayer of Dedication – Rev John Moore
Scripture Reading – Mrs W. B. Lindsay (mother of Capt A. L. Lindsay)
Address General Sir Arthur Currie
Last Post
Reveille
Placing of Wreaths on the monument
Band selections
Hymn “O Canada”
GOD SAVE THE KING

It wasn’t until 1930 that the Cross of Sacrifice and lamps were erected above the monument.  In an article dated July 31, 1930 it states “Strathroy’s Completed Memorial to “the Boys Who Did Not Return” will be unveiled next Sunday afternoon.  May the ornamental lamps at the Foot of the Cross forever burn in loving remembrance of Strathroy’s Fallen Heroes.  Work is a credit to the Daughters of the Empire.” This ceremony coincided with the Old Boys and Girls Reunion being held in Strathroy.

The lamps mentioned above were made at the Corning Glass Works of New York.  Twelve in total were produced for the War Memorial. 

The final monument consists of three large tablets of imperial grey Canadian granite standing side by side on a light grey base.  The centre tablet is inscribed “Our Glorious Dead” with the quotation underneath “To Live in the hearts of those we leave behind, is not to die”.  The rest of the space and the side tablets are occupied by the names of the soldiers whose memory is commemorated.

Strathroy cenotaph Spring 2012

Strathroy cenotaph Spring 2012

Research and information provided by John Sargeant and Museum Strathroy-Caradoc staff and volunteers.

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Hi everyone!
I’m Michelle and I am doing my co-op placement here at the museum. So far I have had a very good experience and a lot of fun! I have finished going through all the photos (so far) and will be moving on to another project soon. As I was going through the photo collection I got to see all kinds of photos of Strathroy. I got to see pictures of all the old buildings and businesses. I also saw lots of clubs, organizations and just regular people.  

The Strathroy Armoury stood where the Museum and Library are today (Winston Pearson Collection)

I like this picture because of how significant it is to me working here. The Armory stood where the museum/library now is, so I’m working here every day where this building used to stand. Besides all that, I like the overall design and architecture of the building itself, it reminds me of a castle of some other sort of fortification.

About the Museum

Museum Strathroy-Caradoc opened to the public in 1972. As a community museum we strive to preserve and tell the story of Strathroy-Caradoc, and inspire residents to explore and understand the community around them.

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