May 14th, 2021

New monument to honour region’s military history

By Gillian Slade on August 2, 2017.

Monument to be constructed in Medicine Hat to commemorate two of the major military units raised in Medicine Hat and the south Alberta district to support Canada's effort in the First World War. The public is invited to help.--SUBMITTED PHOTO


gslade@medicinehatnews.com 
@MHNGillianSlade

A monument commemorating two of the major military units raised in Medicine Hat to support Canada’s efforts in the First World War will be constructed this month, and the public is invited to participate.

Positioned on the slope above Third Street N.W., next to the Trans-Canada Highway, will be a “3CMR” in honour of the Third Canadian Mounted Rifles and “175,” for the 175th Infantry Battalion. These will be flanked by two maple leaves.

It will be highly visible for an estimated 16,000 drivers of vehicles in the area everyday, said Scott Payne, Project 175 committee chair, from The Royal United Services Institute of Medicine Hat.

Some of the materials that will be used in constructing the monument are highly symbolic. The maple leaves, each 40 feet in length, will be constructed out of red bricks that are more than 100 years old. They have been reclaimed from the IXL Brick plant in Redcliff. A total of 7,000 bricks have already been cleaned of mortar over a 12 day period in preparation for this project. Many of the men from here who enlisted to serve in the First World War would have worked at the brick plant in Redcliff, said Payne.

Other parts of the monument will be depicted by using 70 tons of painted white stone, said Payne.

The monument is similar in to style to those constructed a century ago at Signal Hill in Calgary by soldiers who were training in preparation for serving in Europe.

It was determined Canada’s 150 birthday year, and the centennial year of Canada’s great military achievement in the Battle of Vimy Ridge in 1917, was a fitting time to for a permanent commemorative structure in Medicine Hat.

Once the monument is complete there will be park benches and appropriate plaques above the monument on Saamis Drive for people to read, said Payne. The monument will be illuminated at night with LED lights.

The volunteer construction period for the monument begins on Aug. 8. Anyone who would like to help can call Payne at 403-878-0790 or send an email to: 175volunteers@gmail.com

There are a range of opportunities to become involved, even if you do not want to do anything physically challenging, said Payne.

You can read more about the project online:

https://sites.google.com/site/rusimedhat/home/project-175

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