Canadian Corner

Canadian Corner in the “new churchyard”

Orpington Hospital was originally built and paid for by the Government of Ontario in Canada, as a practical war effort during the First World War. Over 26,000 soldiers received treatment at the hospital. 182 died, and of these 88 Canadians, 23 British and 5 Australians who lost their battle for life are buried in the corner of our churchyard, known as Canadian Corner.

The headstones of the graves reflect the spirit of equal sacrifice in which all had fought and died. No one receives greater honour than their neighbours.

The Cross and Sword of Sacrifice in Canadian Corner are typical of those in many of the First World War cemeteries in France and Belgium. What is unusual about the Orpington memorial is the wording. This suggests that the memorial may have been among the first outside of the old Western Front, as people in England wanted to know what the war cemeteries looked like.

THIS CROSS OF SACRIFICE IS ONE IN
DESIGN AND INTENTION WITH THOSE
WHICH HAVE BEEN SET UP IN FRANCE
AND BELGIUM AND OTHER PLACES
THROUGHOUT THE WORLD WHERE OUR
DEAD OF THE GREAT WAR ARE LAID
TO REST
THEIR NAME LIVETH FOR EVERMORE

The phrase “Their name liveth for evermore” comes from the Bible, the Book of Ecclesiasticus.

The Memorial Cross was unveiled in 1921. The High Commissioner for Canada was present. The automatic plunger used to release the Union flag veiling the Cross was the same used by King George the Fifth, at the unveiling of the Cenotaph in Whitehall a year earlier. The Orpington Cross was the first Canadian Memorial unveiled in our country.

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