Unveiled 25 Years Ago
It is just 25
years since Norfolk's War Memorial Tower was officially unveiled and
dedicated in an impressive ceremony attended by
thousands of Norfolk citizens.
tower stands in memory of Norfolk soldiers who gave their lives for
their county in both the First and Second World Wars. Their names
are inscribed on bronze plaques, which were unveilled on Remember
Day, 11 Nov 1948, replacing the old stone tablets, which
bore the names of the dead of the First World War.
effort toward building a suitable memorial came in the autumn of
1919, when the late George O. Werrett called a meeting of all
interested citizens. A committee was formed which was later enlarged
to become the Norfolk Soldier's Memorial Committee, and
subscriptions were solicited for the undertaking.
The next step
was the letting of a contract to Bell Founders of Croydon, England,
for a Westminister chiming clock with four faces, 23 bells with a
clavier for playing them by hand, and an automatic
electrically-operated carillon machine which plays 14 bells.
Two of the most
famous architects of the time, Sproatt and Rolph, were engaged to
design the tower, and they recommended that it be situated at the
south end of Lynnwood Park.
move, the Simcoe Town Council passed a resolution calling for the
structure to be erected at the north end of the park. The committee
rejected this proposal and it is here that the campaign gained real
Soldiers' Memorial Committee joined forces with the High School
Memorial Fund, which had been started for the purpose of
providing a memorial to former pupils who made the supreme
It had collected a considerable sum of money, which was
added to that raised by the Norfolk Committee. As soon as these to
committees combined the Board of Education provided the site at the
corner of Wilson Avenue and Norfolk Street, where the Carillon Tower
thronged the streets of Simcoe for decoration day, 17 Jun 1925,
which began with a mammoth parade of Boy Scouts, Great War Veterans,
the First Norfolk Rifles Band, the First Battalion of the Norfolk
Rifles, and pupils of Simcoe High and Public Schools.
They formed up
at the tower, where Mrs. Abraham West of Houghton, who lost three
sons in the war, unveiled the two tablets on the west side. Mrs.
Christian Quanbury of Woodhouse, who was the only mother to lose two
sons who had attended Simcoe High School, unveiled the plaque on the
the occasion were the late Judge A. T. Boles, the Hon.
John S. Martin, and Col. (Rev.) William Beattie, assistant
director of chaplain services overseas.
tribute to the war dead and the people of Norfolk County. Capt.
(Rev.) H. C. Newcombe delivered the scripture reading, Psalm XLVI.
To conclude the ceremony, the First Norfolk Rifles fired three
rounds and buglers sounded the General Salute and Last Post. The
Regimental Band then rendered the Dead March (Handel) and buglers
played Reveille. Following the laying of wreaths, the Doxology was
played on the carillon bells.
Members of the
High School committee:
F. Aiken, H.
P. Innes, K.C., Grover
C. Murdoch, Charles
H. Jackson, John
Bradfield, Arnold Watt and H.
Soldiers' Memorial Committee consisted of:
L. P. Aiken, D.
F. Aiken, S. N. Culver, Rupert Simpson,
Mrs. Rupert Simpson, John Pratt, Norman Werrett, James
E. Johnson, H.
A. Carter, Henry
Johnson, F. M. Bennett, Mrs. R. L. Dugit,
D. Robb Tisdale, L.
C. Gibson, William
Sutton, James E. Peachey,
W. A. McIntosh, Charles
E. Innes, F.
W. P. MacKay, A. T. Boles.