History

2020 Marks 20th Anniversary of Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

CWGC Area Director David Loveridge marked the anniversary of Tomb of the Unknown Soldier as part of the Ottawa War Memorial by laying a wreath and flowers from CWGC’s Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery in France, on the Tomb in Ottawa. 

This year marked the 20th anniversary of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and the Commonwealth Graves Commission commemorated it during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

On May 28th, veteran and CWGC Area Director David Loveridge marked the anniversary of Tomb of the Unknown Soldier as part of the Ottawa War Memorial by laying a wreath and flowers from CWGC’s Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery in France, on the Tomb in Ottawa. 

CWGC’s Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery in France is the original resting place of the unknown soldier. 

“During these difficult times it is more important than ever for Canadians to reflect on those who served and gave their lives so that we could live safely and freely,” said David Loveridge, CWGC’s director of Canada and the Americas area. 

He added, “the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is one of CWGC’s most prominent war graves that honours all those who died in anonymity serving Canada. We will continue to maintain this piece of Canada’s history and remember those it represents.”

In 1998, at the request of the Canadian Government, CWGC was asked to exhume and repatriate the remains of an unknown, First World War Canadian soldier from Vimy Ridge in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region of France. 

On May 28, 2000, the remains were laid in state at the Hall of Honour in Canada’s Parliament before being moved to a permanent location in front of Canada’s War Memorial, which is located in downtown Ottawa, where the remains will lay in anonymity forever.

Canadian artist Mary-Ann Liu designed the Tomb, the sarcophagus in the Tomb, features soil from the soldier’s original grave in France, each province and territory, and a feather to represent Indigenous Peoples. 

CWGC Area Director David Loveridge marked the anniversary of Tomb of the Unknown Soldier as part of the Ottawa War Memorial by laying a wreath and flowers from CWGC’s Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery in France, on the Tomb in Ottawa.

The memorial’s bronze sculptures include key elements of the stone carving on the Vimy Memorial altar, a medieval sword, a helmet, and branches of maple leaves symbolizing victory and death. Four bronze corner pieces complement the structure – three replicas of the Canadian Memorial Cross and a poppy as a symbol of remembrance.

The CWGC also maintains the Canadian National Vimy Memorial under an agreement with the Government of Canada. The memorial lists the names of roughly 11,160 Canadian servicemen who died in France and who have no known grave. 

More than 650,000 men and women from Canada and Newfoundland served during the First World War with more than 66,000 giving their lives.

The CWGC commemorates the 1.7 million Commonwealth servicemen and women who died during the two world wars.

It also holds and updates an extensive and accessible records archive. The Commission operates in more than 23,000 locations in more than 150 countries. The CWGC has its Canadian office in Ottawa, Ontario.

The Commonwealth War Graves Foundation is a charitable foundation that highlights the work of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission by telling the stories of the 1.7m people the CWGC commemorates.

To learn how you can support the organization or more information on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission visit here.

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