The Field of Honour – Section 27 - Tour

The Field of Honour – Section 27

The Field of Honour is reserved for Canadian Forces Veterans, War Dead from the Northwest Rebellion, the World Wars, the Korean conflict, United Nations Campaigns and other humanitarian missions. This land was purchased by the Crown in 1944, and up until the amalgamation of the National Military Cemetery of Canada was overseen by Veterans Affairs Canada and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

This section is arranged to be like the defense tactic, the hollow square. While in battle, the soldiers would arrange themselves to have their guns facing outwards with their backs against their own. This meant they had their compatriot protecting their backs giving them the confidence to focus on the task or enemy in front of them. This also meant the soldiers protected their leader who stood in the centre and gave out orders.

1) Cross of Sacrifice

The central feature of this section is the Cross of Sacrifice, found in most Commonwealth war cemeteries around the world. The Cross was designed in 1918 by Sir Reginald Blomfield and is present in Commonwealth war cemeteries containing 40 or more graves. Beechwood’s Cross of Sacrifice was erected by the Imperial War Graves Commission (now the Commonwealth War Graves Commission) in 1959.

The sword is made in bronze and is pointed downwards. In military tradition and classical art, when the sword is in an upward direction is it the symbol for war or that one was under attack. When the sword is in a downward position, like it is on the Cross of Sacrifice, it is symbolizing a time of peace.

2) The Ottawa Cremation Memorial

The Ottawa Cremation Memorial is a small building is an important early military memorial at Beechwood Cemetery. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission built the Cremation Memorial in 1958. It consists of commemoration panels set on an inside wall of a stone shelter building that was designed and built by Veterans Affairs Canada engineers. The Commission installed a Cross of Sacrifice in the centre of Section 27 in 1957 and a ceremony to dedicate the Cross of Sacrifice and Cremation Memorial was held in May 1959.

The Cremation Memorial commemorates 31 War Dead of the First and Second World Wars. The 31 War Dead commemorated on the Memorial were cremated in Canada and the United States and do not have a place of burial. In 1971, the Cremation Memorial also displayed plaques to commemorate 28 Dutch War Dead whose graves are maintained by the Canadian Agency of the Commission on behalf of the Netherlands.

3) The 8th Canadian Hussars (Princess Louise's) Sherman 'Easy Eight' M4A2(76) W HVSS

The 8th Canadian Hussars (Princess Louise's) is the longest serving armoured regiment in the Canadian Army. It was formed on the 4 April 1848 in New Brunswick where it has served continually ever since. When wars came, hundreds of Hussars joined the active service army and served with distinction on battlefields in France and Flanders in World War I, and in Italy and Holland in World War II. They also served later in Europe under NATO in the Middle and Far East and in Cyprus as peace-keepers for the United Nations. Today, 8th Hussars are again militia soldiers, continuing to supply men and women to support the regular army in places such as Afghanistan where Canada has committed its forces.

The Beechwood tank has been listed by DND and an organization dedicated to tracking and preserving military tanks across Canada, M4A2(76)W HVSS Sherman "Easy 8" tank (Serial No. 69257), built by Fisher, Reg. No. 30129736, “Hussar”, painted DND 78-749. 294 Sherman M4A3E8 tanks were purchased by the Canadian government in 1947 for Korean War service. They were equipped with the long barrelled 76mm High Velocity gun. E8 referred to the revised hull fitted with HVSS Horizontal volute spring suspension giving a much better ride and so was nicknamed the 'Easy Eight". Canadians fought these tanks with distinction in the Korean War.

4) 155-mm C1 Medium Howitzer

The 155-mm C1 Howitzer was a Canadian version of the American M1A1 Howitzer. Sorel Industries Limited in Sorel, Québec, manufactured 180 of them under licence for Canada and other NATO countries starting in 1953. It was the largest weapon ever manufactured in Canada, and fired a 42 kilogram shell to a maximum range of 14,600 metres. The C1 Howitzer was in active service with the Royal Canadian Artillery from 1955 until 1968, and remained in reserve for many years.

5) 105-mm L5 Pack Howitzer

The 105 mm Pack Howitzer, designed and manufactured in Italy in the late 1960's is the artillery support weapon for the Airborne Regiment within the Canadian Armed Forces. The howitzer is capable of both high and low angle fire with a maximum range of 10,000 M. Minimizing weight and bulk, the gun can be moved to and within the combat zone by air transport, helicopter or towed by vehicles. It uses standard high explosive, illumination, smoke and anti-tank ammunition.

6) 100th Anniversary of Armistice Tree

The 100th Anniversary of Armistice Tree is a commemoration carved tree to honour the 100th Anniversary of Armistice. It has three maple leaves, each one representing a branch of the Canadian Armed Forces, fifty-eight poppies representing each a battle honour received by our forces during WW1 and a stack of Brodie helmets, the only head protection for our brave soldiers. This carving will stand tall for years, quietly reminding the cost and sacrifice of WW1.

7) Vimy Oaks Trees

After the Battle of Vimy Ridge was won, many soldiers realized that they had been part of something truly great. Leslie Miller, born in 1889 in Milliken, ON, looked around for a souvenir on the Ridge. It was completely devoid of structures or vegetation due to shell fire but he did find a half buried oak tree. He gathered up a handful of acorns. Those acorns were subsequently planted by him on farmland in Scarborough, ON. He called his farm the ‘Vimy Oaks Farm’.

Today, several of the original oaks survive, and saplings have been planted across Canada, including in the Veterans Section. However, there are no original oaks on the Vimy Ridge site.

8) The Living Tribute Garden and Highway of Heroes Tree

Originally planted on June 6, 2019, for the 75th anniversary of D-Day, the Living Tribute Garden is an outward commitment to educate, teach and share the stories of the past and to ensure that the sacrifice of all members of the Canadian Armed Forces and allied nations is never forgotten. The Living Tribute Garden is a partnership between the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Highway of Heroes Tree Campaign, Veterans Affairs Canada and Beechwood Cemetery.

The tree that is the central feature of this garden was donated by Highway of Heroes and Marc Cullen Nurseries.

Download the full factsheet.