In the week leading up to Remembrance Day on November the 11th, PATO will be featuring various memorials to Canada’s valiant war heroes.
The memorial was unveiled by Boer War hero, Sir John French in 1910. It was he who led the march to relieve the battle at Kimberly and the counter-insurgency operations in Cape Colony.
For twenty years Torontonians would gather on February 27th, known as Paardeberg Day, to honour and pray for their war dead. That tradition was continued until Remembrance Day took its place in 1931.
Walter S. Allward created a beautiful memorial to a gruby little war.
From its clean lines and prosaic portrayals of the soldiers, you would never guess it was the first time Canadian soldiers participated in what would later become known as war crimes. Our troops burnt houses and farms, denied food to civilians, and interned them in filthy camps where up to 28,000 people would languish and die over three years.
These victims of war deserve a monument as much as the soldiers do.
The title for this article comes from George Orwell’s quote: “Before the war, and especially before the Boer War, it was summer all the year round.”
Sources: Canadian War Museum, Canada and the South African War (1899 – 1902), (November 8, 2016) http://www.warmuseum.ca/cwm/exhibitions/boer/boerwarhistory_e.shtml
Historic Toronto, Toronto’s Boer War Monument, (November 8, 2016), https://tayloronhistory.com/2015/05/26/torontos-boer-war-monument/
Wikipedia, James Mason(Canadian Politician), (November 8, 2016), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Mason_(Canadian_politician)Wikipedia, John French, 1st Earl of Ypres, (November 8, 2016), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_French,_1st_Earl_of_YpresWikipedia, Second Boer War, (November 8, 2016), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Boer_War#Canada
Wikipedia, South African War Memorial, Toronto (November 8, 2016), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_African_War_Memorial_(Toronto)
Wikipedia, Walter Seymore Allward, (November 8, 2016), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Seymour_Allward