In 1926 Albert J. Hart was commissioned to create a memorial to honour the memory of those Nanton and District citizens who were killed in action during World War I. The 6.5′ high statue is of Carara Italian marble and features a soldier at rest, with arms reversed in the position that would have been assumed at the burial of a comrade. It rests on a pedestal of B.C. granite. Plaques list the names of those who did not return from both wars. As well, there is a plaque honouring those who served in the Korean War.
The location originally chosen for the cenotaph was next to the sidewalk that linked Shaw Street, Nanton’s main street, and the Canadian Pacific Railway Station. This was most appropriate as the railway was well used at the time and hundreds of residents and visitors alike would pass the silent soldier during a day.
The cenotaph was unveiled August 13, 1927 by the Earl of Haddington. Mayor J.T. Cooper presided over the ceremonies and R.B. Bennett, who would go on to become the Prime Minister of Canada, gave the principal address. Annual Remembrance Day Services have been held at the cenotaph ever since.
With the closure of the railway station and the transformation of Railway Avenue into a major highway, the cenotaph’s location became less and less appropriate during the latter half of the twentieth century. With the co-operation of Nanton’s No. 80 Branch, Royal Canadian Legion, the Town of Nanton, and the Nanton Lancaster Society the cenotaph was carefully dismantled and the statue cleaned. It was then re-erected in Centennial Park at the entrance to the air museum in time for the 2001 Remembrance Day Service.
The Cenotaph in its new location
at the entrance to the Bomber Command Museum of Canada.
Those Who Did Not Return
William E. Buchanan
Richard E. Caspell
Frederick D. Coote
Ross L. Fetherston
James E. Hickson
Kenneth P. Johnson
Arthur D. Melvin
Oscar C. Williams
A re-dedication ceremony of the cenotaph in its new location was held May 25, 2002.