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The history of Sarnia’s war memorials

Published on

Pat McLean

Special to The Journal

Sarnia has three war memorials.

The first is the Boer War Memorial Fountain on the south side of the Sarnia Library. It was restored by the Sarnia Heritage Committee and in 1998 relocated in Victoria Park and rededicated.

At that time it was also designated an historical monument by the Sarnia Heritage Committee. The names of the men who volunteered and the places they served in action are engraved on the top.

The Boer War Memorial was funded by Sarnia’s school children over a number of years through a Dime Fund. Originally, it stood at the junction of the two sidewalks that once cut diagonally through Victoria Park, and in front of our original ‘Carnegie’ library.

The second memorial, to remember the First World War, stood in Victoria/Veteran’s Park with a statue of a soldier mounted on the top. On all four sides, bronze plaques listed the names of men from Lambton County who served.

The First World War plaques were preserved and are now on the front wall of the Sarnia Legion building. Unfortunately, this second memorial has become so tarnished it is difficult to read. But they are an important part of our county’s history and were designated by the Sarnia Heritage Committee in 2001.

When the current, larger cenotaph was erected the original ‘soldier’ was mounted on its top. The names of the many local men who died in various conflicts are engraved on its faces.

The city has surrounded the cenotaph with lovely gardens, enhancing this third memorial, which is central to Veteran’s Park. It is there each Remembrance Day that we honour our relatives, friends and neighbours who gave their lives so that we can live in peace.

Pat McLean is a longtime member of the Sarnia Heritage Committee

 

 

 

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