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Memorial Number: 35036-054
Type: Wooden cross and metal plaque
Location: Royal Military College of Canada
Address: 100 Montreal Street
Reference: in the Armoury, on the west wall
Kingston, ON
Surveyor: Capt. Roger Partridge
Photo Credit: David G. Lucas

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The Vimy Cross Standing indented into the north wall, in a place of honour directly visible when one enters the Armouries, is a cross - The Vimy Cross -- approximately ten feet high and three feet across, with the 21st Battalion cap badge at its feet and surrounded by the Regiment's 19 current Battle Honours. In May 1917, the Officers of the 21st Battalion had this cross built to commemorate their comrades lost in the hard fighting for Vimy Ridge. Private George Williams of Cornwall, Ontario was a carpenter by trade before enlisting in the Canadian Expeditionary Force. Returning to the 21st Bn, and still on light duties after hospitalization and convalescence from having suffered a poison gas attack at the Somme, Pte Williams salvaged wood from the battlefield to make the cross. The cross was painted white and bore a metal plaque, purchased by the officers, reading, IN MEMORY OF OFFICERS, NCOs AND MEN; 21ST CANADIAN INFANTRY BATTALION KILLED IN ACTION APRIL 9th 1917. The cross was erected near the village of Thelus, France, in what would become the Thelus Military Cemetery, which holds the remains of 116 Canadian soldiers. After several years, surviving members of the 21st Battalion campaigned to have the cross returned to Kingston. Aided by the significant efforts of Lieutenant-Colonel H.E. Pense, DSO, MC, the cross was returned to Kingston and erected on the grounds of the Royal Military College. After several decades of weathering, in 1994 it was decided to refurbish the cross and move it into the Regimental Armouries, where it currently resides on a Wall of Honour overlooking the parade square. Services are held by the Regiment and Association every April, during which the name of every 21st Battalion soldier killed at Vimy is read aloud, so that we will remember their sacrifice.