Canadian Tribute - Trafalgar Square

On my way home last night, I spotted a new "temporary structure" over on Trafalgar Square. This morning, I swung by to have a closer look, as it bore the word "Vigil".

It looks like an obelisk and has text in English and French. From last night until 11/11, at sunset, the names of all those Canadians who gave their lives in WW1 will be projected from the "obelisk" onto the wall of the adjacent High Commission.

The words express the hope that any Brits who lost members of their families who served with the Canadians in WW1 will go to this website

where they can look for the names and see when they are to be beamed onto the wall.

Well done to Canada for showing the way. With this and their "Memorial Cross"

they show the rest of us how to recognise sacrifice.


Thanks for posting this - what a simple but excellent idea. I particularly liked this quote from the website that explains how the whole thing works
The names appearing in the vigil will have no order or ranking. Each man or woman was equal in death.
I'll be watching out for this one from my family.

HALLIDAY SIDNEY 148581 Private Canadian Infantry (Manitoba Regiment) August 11, 1918 Nov 9 5:38 PM
The memorials here are also quite stunning.

As for the Memorial Cross issued post 2007, it is important that each serving member of the CF insures that they have designated to whom they wish the MC to go to. It will not be decided posthumously.

For deaths that occur before 1 January 2007.
The Memorial Cross is granted to the mother (if living) and/or the widow (if legally married or common law) of a CF member that either:

dies in a Special Duty Area (SDA);
dies while proceeding to or returning from a SDA; or
dies from causes directly attributable to service in a SDA.

For deaths that occur after 31 December 2006.
The Memorial Cross is granted to up to three recipients previously identified by the member whose death is the result of an injury or disease related to military service, regardless of location.

This criteria applies to all CF members who serve in the Regular Force, Primary Reserve, Cadet Instructor Cadre or Canadian Rangers after 31 December 2006. All concerned members shall identify potential Memorial Cross recipients by completing and signing the form entitled Designation of Memorial Cross Recipients (DND 2105) and having it inserted in their personnel file. The recipients do not have to be family members and may be any living person. It is the member’s responsibility to update this form as their circumstances change. If no designation is made, no Cross will be issued. Members who release after 31 December 2006 remain responsible to update their list of recipients; they may do so by communicating with the Honours and Awards Section of Veterans Affairs Canada at 1-877-995-5003.

Silver Cross Mothers

Each year, the RCL chooses an MC recipient to represent all Canadian Mothers at the National Cenotaph. The MC mother will lay a wreath on behalf of all mothers who have lost a child in their service to their country.

The previous year's list:

2007 Mrs. Wilhelmina Beerenfenger-Koehler Embrun, Ontario
2006 Mrs. Alice Murphy Conception Harbour, Newfoundland
2005 Mrs. Claire Léger Stittsville, Ontario
2004 Mrs. Agatha Dyer Montreal, Québec
2003 Mrs. Charlotte Lynn Smith Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia
2002 Mrs. Doreen Coolen Hubbards, Nova Scotia
2001 Mrs. Ina Galvin Bolton centre, Québec
2000 Mrs. Carol Isfeld Courtenay, British Columbia
1999 Mrs. Loyola Helen Park London, Ontario
1998 Mrs. Anna Zuk (Prygroski) Winnipeg, Manitoba
1997 Mrs. Alice Cooper Ottawa, Ontario
1996 Mrs. Margaret Langille River John, Nova Scotia
1995 Mrs. Elsie Wells Edmonton, Alberta
1994 Mrs. W. Baerr Yorkton, Saskatchewan
1993 Mrs. Isabella Hutchings St. John's, Newfoundland
1992 Mrs. Ida Orser New Brunswick (Hartland)
1991 Mrs. Alice Taylor Ottawa, Ontario
1990 Mrs. Elsie Pearce Trenton, Ontario
1989 Mrs. Rachel Morin Rimouski, Quebec
1988 Mrs. Hazel Driscoll Halifax, Nova Scotia
1987 Mrs. Secondina Di Persio Sydney Mines, Nova Scotia
1986 Mrs. Mabel Bateman Richmond Hill, Ontario
1985 Mrs. Rose Bernst Thunder Bay, Ontario
1984 Mrs. Olive Hunter Summerland, British Columbia
1983 Mrs. Constance Wylie Vancouver, British Columbia
1982 Mrs. John E. Fraser Debert, Nova Scotia
1981 Mrs. Isabel Harrison Bury, Quebec
1980 Mrs. Greta Steeves Elgin, Albert County, New Brunswick
1979 Mrs. Eliza Beatty Carlyle, Saskatchewan
1978 Mrs. J. Cantley Montreal, Quebec
1977 Mrs. Mary Little Welland, Ontario
1976 Mrs. Olive Jubb Victoria, British Columbia
1975 Mrs. C.L. (Alta.) Wilkinson Ottawa, Ontario
1974 Mrs. Thomas Rudd Stettler, Alberta
1973 Mrs. Margaret Santo Kipling, Saskatchewan
1972 Mrs. Mary Louise McLeod Wiarton, Ontario
1971 Mrs. Mary Anderson Selkirk, Manitoba
1970 Mrs. Lloyd R. Meech North Sydney, Nova Scotia
1969 Mrs. Wilhemina Grey Vancouver, British Columbia
1968 Mrs. Pearl Rich Vancouver, British Columbia
1967 Mrs. Elsie Adams St. Catharines, Ontario
1966 Mrs. George Stephens Toronto, Ontario
1965 Mrs. Nora Wagner Teetersville, Ontario
1964 Mrs. Bernadette Rivait Windsor, Ontario
1963 Mrs. Mary E. Stodgell Norwood, Manitoba
1962 Mrs. V. Lanteigne Caraquet, New Brunswick
1961 Mrs. Sylvia Kimmel Mission City, British Columbia
1960 Mrs. A.J. Cantin McCreary, Manitoba
1959 Mrs. W.B. Anderson Craigmyle, Alberta
1958 Mrs. Helen Forrestell Coniston, Ontario
1957 Mrs. Z. MacFarlane Truro, Nova Scotia
1956 Mrs. A.J. Reynolds Chatham, Ontario
1955 Mrs. Leboldus Vibank, Saskatchewan
1952 Mrs. Dan McCann Ottawa, Ontario
1950 Mrs. John Beasley Ottawa, Ontario
This vigil was a very good idea. Remembering each casualty as an individual is a very special approach to Remembrance. I was at the briefing in September and at Canada House on 4th Nov.

Robert H Thompson said that the idea of a vigil came from his own past when as a teenager he had been made to take part in a vigil i9n the chapel at Toc H in Poperinge.

If anyone is inspired by the Canadian Vigil to want to repeat it for other Remembrance events you can get the software for running any database of names from Robert H Thompson. He said there would be no charge for using the same software for a town memorial or a regiment etc. If you PM me I can put you in touch with him.

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