In 1920, the Canadian Battlefield Monument Commission decided to erect memorials at St.Julien, Hill 62, Courcelette, Vimy, Passchendaele, Le Quesnel, Dury and Bourlon Wood. It was decided that Vimy would act as the National Memorial and have a unique design. The other seven would be marked with identical memorials.
A competition was held to choose an architect to desigh the monuments. Walter Allward of Toronto was chosen for Vimy's unique memorial and Frederick C. Clemesha of Regina took second place. Clemesha's design, "The brooding soldier," was built at St-Julien and had such as stark effect at its unveiling in 1923 that the Monument Commission decided it also should remain unique.
In conjonction with the architectural advisor, P. E. Nobbs, the cube design was developed for the remaining six monuments. A 13-tonne block of Stanstead granite was used for each. A wreath was carved into two sides of the monument and on the other two sides was engraved a brief explanation of the exploits of the Canadian Corps in that specific battle. One side is in English, the other in French. (CHRISTIE N, "The Canadians at Passchendaele" from the series "For King and Empire")
On a hillside park, you climb a large flight of stairs to reach a terrace. In the centre of the hill is the Canadian monument, a granite monolith. Stone pathways run from this central point to another terrace, which affords a panoramic view of the battlefield. On the terrace wall are the words “Canada 1916”. The engraving on the monument reads: “Here at Mount Sorrel and on the line from Hooge to St. Eloi, the Canadian Corps fought in the defence of Ypres, April-August 1916”. “Ici au mont Sorrel et sur la ligne Hooge St Eloi, les Canadiens combattirent pour la défense d’Ypres, avril-août 1916". A further text on the side of the monument reads: “Honour to Canadians who on the fields of Flanders and of France, fought in the cause of the allies, with sacrifice and devotion”. Orientation markers indicate the direction of “Hooge”, straight on; “Ypres - Zillebeke - Hill 60 - Kemmel”, to your right; “Messines - Comines - Wervicq – Menin”, behind you; and to your left, “Gheluvelt – Zonnebeke”.