You may have seen the Cloverdale Cenotaph while driving by 56th Avenue. The white granite monument with a man kneeling on top, his eyes somberly fixed on the ground beneath him, a rifle gripped in his hands.
May 22, 1921 is the birth date of the Cloverdale Cenotaph. Surrey’s First World War memorial initially was built to honour those who fell in the great World War. Twenty three names and places of where Surrey soldiers who lost their lives in battle are inscribed on the monument. On top of the Cenotaph was a German Field Gun, commonly known as a ‘Whizz Bang’ that had been brought back by the Canadian 47th Battalion. Ceremonies of remembrance were held on August 4th, but with the start of the Second World War, the Whizz Bang was removed and melted down for its metal, and Remembrance Day would coincide with armistice day, November 11th, 1918.
In 2005, the memorial was modified to include memorials for the Second World War, Korea, and Peace Keeping missions. The statue called “Kneeling in Remembrance” was placed atop of the Cenotaph, depicting a soldier in 47th Battalion insignia, among other enhancements.
The Cenotaph, which has moved several times in it’s nearly century long existence, is now called Veterans Square and is the site of the annual Surrey Remembers ceremony, which is just one of the many ceremonies taking place in Surrey this November 11th:
Surrey Archives, 17671 56 Avenue
9:30 am – 1:30pm
There’s lots to do and see at the Surrey Archives Following the ceremony: write thank you postcards for veterans and their families, watch WWII documentaries, or partake in peaceful crafts. Hot chocolate and coffee will be served to keep warm.
Surrey Crescent Beach Remembrance
Legion Hall, 2643 128 Street
An option for those looking for an indoor service. Proceedings include wreath laying by a Silver Star mother and a fly past, the master of ceremony will be George Temperton.
Surrey Whalley Remembrance Day
Whalley Legion, 13525 106 Avenue
Parade assembly followed by a march to the Cenotaph, with refreshments and snacks available following the service.
Remembrance Day Family Event
Surrey Centre Cemetery, 16671 Old McLellan Road
This family friendly event takes place at the site of where 500 Veterans have been laid to rest. Vintage WWII and onward military vehicles, and military experts will be present to answer questions. Hot dogs and refreshments will be available.