Memorials, cenotaphs remembered by Oxford County Archives
This november, in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War, the Oxford County Archives is releasing a new book, Honouring Oxford: The Cenotaphs and Memorials of the Great War.
Oxford County archivist Liz Mayville, the book’s author, spent more than five years putting the book together, commemorating local communities that chose to honour their fallen sons, fathers, brothers and friends through the creation of lasting memorials and monuments.
“The book itself tells two different types of stories. It tells the story of how each community came to erect their monuments and, on the other end, we highlight the lives and achievements of the men that are listed on them,” said Mayville.
“… You get used to men being hit and forget all about the danger. Then again, I don’t know why it is, but everyone thinks he will be the lucky one to escape. War is not, what I thought it would be at all…” wrote Major Edward norsworthy in a letter home to his father dated April 9, 1915, that is included in the book.
There are 29 large memorials and cenotaphs throughout Oxford County that can be viewed through an interactive online map. There, the details of when the memorial was built, along with the names of those it honours, are listed. The earliest memorials in Oxford County were erected in Oxford Centre and new Durham in 1919. The most recent cenotaph is located in Otterville, unveiled in 1932.
While a number of women did serve in the First World War, none of their names are mentioned on any of the memorials.
This public is invited to the Oxford County Archives on nov. 8 at 2 p.m. for the official launch of the book and to view the new First World War exhibit that will feature records, photographs and artifacts.
For more information on the county’s memorials and cenotaphs, how to purchase the book, and to view the interactive map visit OxfordCounty.ca/Archives/ HonouringOxford.
IF YOU GO
what: Honouring oxford: the cenotaphs and memorials of the Great war book launch, open house and First world war exhibit
when: Nov. 8 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
where: oxford county archives, 82 light Street, woodstock