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The Nanton Cenotaph

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 Cenotaph in its original location with the railway water-tower at left.

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.

The Dedication of the Cenotaph in 1927. Nanton’s railway station is in the background. On the platform (l-r) George Baillie-Hamilton (Earl of Haddington); George Coote MP; J.T. Cooper Mayor; R.B. Bennett MP

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

WW I

William E. Buchanan
George Blackbell
Richard E. Caspell
Frederick D. Coote
Sidney Cross
William Douglas
Fred Evans
Jack Evans
William Farquhar
Rolla Fetherstorn
Ross L. Fetherston
Charles Hargraves
James E. Hickson
John Ingram
Kenneth P. Johnson
David Kennedy
Mike Kurysh
Cecil Kirkpatrick
Harold McGillivray
Arthur D. Melvin
Albert Parker
Owen Pestell
S.E. Shortcliffe
Oscar C. Williams
Thomas Waring

WW II

Youths, Padre, and Veterans re-dedicate the Nanton Cenotaph.

Bert Airhart
Nigel Armstrong
Douglas Bevan
Clarke Chambers
William Eld
Arden Ellis
Robert Ferris
Clifford Garbutt
William Graham
Jerold Hunter
Ralph Jessup
George Johnson
Leo Lysak
Robert Leman
Roy Muir
John McCloskey
Wallace McLean
Jack O’Leary
Glen Ransom
Loree Scott
Paul Smashnuck
Kenneth Smith
Victor Wheeler
Stan Wickens

A re-dedication ceremony of the cenotaph in its new location was held May 25, 2002.

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