Welland Crowland War Memorial
Reason for Designation
The Welland-Crowland War Memorial is the last large World War I memorial to be erected in Canada. It was built with over $36,000 in subscriptions collected from the people of Welland and Crowland at the height of the Depression. A nationally significant piece of Canadian sculpture, the war memorial was created by artist Elizabeth Wyn Wood, winner of a Canada wide competition for the project. Judges for the competition were distinquished Canadian artists and architects Sir E. Wyly Grier, Charles W. Jeffreys, Gordon M. West and John MacIntosh Lyle along with local author and historian Louis Blake Duff and County Court Judge the Hon. L.B.C. Livingstone. Born in Orillia, Elisabeth Wyn Wood studied under Group of Seven artists J.E.H. MacDonald and Arthur Lismer at the Ontario College of Art and her work expresses similar themes. She also studied stone carving at the Art Students League in New York. Wyn Wood made a significant contribution to Canada’s cultural life through her modernist interpretation of the Canadian landscape in sculpture and her works are contained in many public collections, including the National Gallery of Canada.
The monument was executed in LaCass Granite from Quebec, and was cut to size by the Thomson Monument Company of Toronto from a full sized clay model done by Wyn Wood. Louis Temporale did the fine surface carving on the piece. Welland’s World War I memorial is unique in that it departs from the design of a single soldier so common on other monuments of that vintage to incorporate stylized elements of the Canadian landscape – red pine and wheat sheaves – along with the representation of a W.W.I trench mortar and two heroic figures – a soldier and a woman – intended to symbolize the “Service and Sacrifice” not only of those who fought but of those who supported the war effort at home. It was unveiled one day after the start of the Second World War on September 4, 1939 by Lieut. Colonel Archdeacon F. G. Scott, D.S.O., Senior Chaplain of the First Canadian Division during World War I and a noted Canadian poet.