It’s a tree, it’s a plane, it’s a mountain – It’s a war memorial! Heritage BC is calling on the public to help create an online map of World War memorials across the province.
Over 700 World War memorials have been dedicated throughout BC, but not all are cenotaphs or plaques! Some of the commemoration is in the form of mountains, lakes, parks, rows of trees, streets and even aircraft. And don’t expect to find them in the customary places such as town squares and cemeteries – you’ll have to venture into the interior of small community churches, locate rural airports and ghost towns, stroll island beaches and hike through provincial parks to see them all.
Have you heard of Phoenix, BC? A booming copper mining town in the Kootney Boundary district from the late 1890s until 1919 when the price of copper dropped dramatically and Phoenix began to die. An exodus left Phoenix as Canada’s largest ghost town. The buildings and most of the houses in this former town of 4000 residents were mostly sold, dismantled and relocated. One of the few remaining testaments to Phoenix is its World War I cenotaph standing in the former location of the town at an elevation of over 4,000 feet.
First World War veterans were honoured with Maple trees at intersections throughout Fort Langley; and in Victoria, Mountain Ash and London Plane trees line Shelbourne Street in remembrance of the casualties of both World Wars.
And did you know – every male member of the Inkumupulux Band (The Okanagan Indian Band) between the ages of twenty and thirty-five, enlisted to serve in World War I? A war memorial sits outside the OKIB offices etched with dozens of band member names including that of George McLean, who earned a Distinguished Conduct Medal for single-handedly capturing 19 prisoners during the battle of Vimy Ridge in April 1917.
What is your community’s World War story?
We need your help to locate and document your community’s World War memorials, stories and experiences!
To submit your community’s world war memorials please choose one of 3 options:
1. Post it on the Heritage BC Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/events/545925392236150/ 2. Send it via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
3. Submit to our online form at http://www.heritagebc.ca/war-memorials-in-bc