Walter S. Allward
(Toronto 1876 – Toronto 1955)
Canadian National Vimy Memorial
40 x 75 m
Vimy Ridge National Historic Site of Canada (France)
Photo: Veterans Affairs Canada
The Canadian National Vimy Memorial commemorates the Canadian victory at Vimy Ridge and honours the memory of Canadian soldiers killed in France during World War I. Erected on the crest of the ridge, the towering monument dominates the site of the famous battle, which is considered a founding event of the Canadian nation. It includes twenty allegorical figures set around two pillars symbolizing France and Canada. The central figure, Canada Bereft, represents a woman mourning her dead, recalling representations of the grieving Virgin. The base of the monument is inscribed with the names of 11,285 Canadian soldiers who died in France but have no known grave.
On April 12, 1917, despite heavy losses, the Canadian Corps won the Battle of Vimy Ridge. This strategic victory gave Canadians a sense of pride and played an important part in consolidating the nation in the aftermath of World War I. In 1922, Walter S. Allward, a Toronto sculptor specializing in public monuments, was commissioned to create a memorial honouring the patriotic sacrifice of the fallen soldiers. The memorial, which brought the artist to fame, was dedicated on July 26, 1936, by King Edward VIII before a crowd of 100,000 people.
CANADIAN NATIONAL VIMY MEMORIAL
Parc mémorial canadien
Chemin des Canadiens, 55 road
+33 3 21 50 68 68