July 20th, 2024

First World War monument taking shape

By Gillian Slade on August 12, 2017.

Workers are busy laying bricks and stones as the image emerges for the monument to honour those who served with the 175th Infantry Battalion and the Third Canadian Mounted Rifles in the First World War.--NEWS PHOTO GILLIAN SLADE


A clear image is already emerging of the Frist World War monument under construction on the north side of Third Street NW and the Trans-Canada Highway.

After laying the first stones on Tuesday, work has progressed steadily with the help of numerous volunteers and several businesses that donated time, equipment and services, said Scott Payne, Project 175 committee chair, from the Royal United Services Institute of Medicine Hat.

Niwa Crane provided equipment and staff to operate the crane, McMillan Transport stored bricks and provided transport to the site, said Payne. GNJ Line Contracting Ltd carved out the template for the design and J4 Heavy Equipment Repair did the Bobcat work carving out the maple leaves in the design.

The monument has been designed to honour the Third Canadian Mounted Rifles and the 175th Infantry Battalion. They were major military units raised in Medicine Hat to support Canada’s efforts in the First World War.

The bricks used for the maple leaves are reclaimed bricks from the IXL Brick plant in Redcliff where many of the men who enlisted to serve in the First World War would have worked, said Payne.

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

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

Payne says there are still several more weeks of work to be done and volunteers are still needed.

Anyone who would like to help should 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.

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