Women Soldiers

canadian women soldiersThere is a statue on Winnipeg’s Memorial Boulevard that pays tribute to the women who served in Canada’s Armed Forces during World War I and II. During World War I, nearly 3000 Canadian women were military nurses and during World War II some 45,000 women were clerks, cooks, heavy equipment drivers, telephone operators, parachute riggers and mechanics in Canada’s armed forces.  Some two hundred Canadian women have lost their lives while in military service. 

There are three figures in the statue and they represent each branch of the armed forces, the army, the navy and the airforce.  The women look like they are taking their job seriously, but each has just a hint of a smile on her face. 
This monument was unveiled in July of 1976 and was erected by the Women’s Tri-Service Association–Winnipeg Veterans of World War I and II.  Helen Granger Young sculpted the memorial.   It was bronzed at Studio West Foundry in Cochrane Alberta and flown to Winnipeg on a Canadian Forces Hercules transport aircraft. A group of women led by Beryl Isabell Simpson worked very hard for years to raise the funds from primarily private donors to build the memorial.

In 1984 the sculpture was rededicated by Queen Elizabeth on a visit to Winnipeg.  Queen Elizabeth trained as a mechanic and served as a military first aid truck driver during World War II. 

The plaque on the statue says that it is dedicated to all the women of the British Commonwealth who served or gave their lives during the two great World Wars. 

A mural on a building on Fort Street also pays tribute to women’s contributions to the military. The mural represents the three branches of the service, army, navy and airforce and a woman is leading the men carrying a banner that says Fort Garry Unit #60- Shoulder to Shoulder. 

The Shoulder to Shoulder slogan comes from this poster for the Canadian army that shows women working shoulder to shoulder with men in the war effort. 

Other posts…………

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China’s Unsung War  Heroes

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Filed under Art, Canada, History, People, Winnipeg

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