Posts Tagged ‘monument’

Battle of Limeridge Monument

This monument, by Robert Reid, was unveiled on 1st July 1870.  It is located on the University of Toronto side of Queens Park Circle.

war memorial on a slight hill, grassy, in autum with yellow and orange leaves around, a white statue on top, with more statues (two) below.

Words on the plaque at the bottom of the memorial: “Canada erected this monument as a memorial to her brave sons the volunteers who fell at Limeridge or died from wounds received in action or from disease contracted in serve whilst defending her frontier in June 1866.”

The Battle of Limeridge (also known as the Battle of Ridgeway) was the first fight during what is known as the Fenian Raids.  It was fought near the village of Ridgeway which is across the Niagara River from Buffalo NY, close to Fort Erie.   It was the first time that a battle was fought by Canadian troops and led by a Canadian.  They lost the battle.   There were a few more skirmishes but the Fenians fled back across the Niagara River when British troops and Canadian reinforcements arrived a short time later.

The funds for the monument came from donations from the citizens of Toronto.  The Canadian government refused to recognize the Limeridge veterans until 1899.   The loss had been blamed on the frontline troops that panicked and broke even though they were out numbered, undersupplied and undertrained.  The officers in charge had been absolved.

close up of statues on monument

The Fenians were Irish-Americans, many of them veterans of the US Civil War which had just ended.  Their goal was to take Canada hostage to provoke a crisis in England that would lead to an independent Irish Republic.  At the time, Canada was still a British colony.

close up of statues on monument - soldier with missing arm, from the 1800s,

On June 2nd 1890, the Veterans of ’66 Association held a protest by this monument and they placed flowers around it.  The protest became an annual event.  June 2nd became known as “Decoration Day” as memorial to Canadians who died in the Battle of Limeridge as well as the Northwest Rebellion (1885), the South African War (Boer War) (1899-1902) as well as the Great War (WW1).  It wasn’t until 1931 that November 11th became Remembrance Day.

The passing of the Remembrance Day Act in 1931 removed the losses from the Fenian Raids and the Northwest Rebellion.  It is specifically for Canadian casualties overseas.

———–

Killed in action at Limeridge, June 2nd 1866
Queens Own Rifles
Ensign Malcom McEachren, No.5 Command
Lance Corporal Mark Defries, No.3 Command
Private Christopher Alderson No.7 Command
Private William Smith No.2 Command
Private Malcolm MacKenzie No.9 Command