Prince County Soldiers’ Monument [photo: John Clever]

Monument restoration

Prince County Soldiers’ Monument reaches 100-year mark

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In honour of its 100th anniversary, the Prince County Soldiers’ Monument recently underwent a major restoration in the skilled hands of Brett Davis, a bronze restoration specialist from Ontario. 

In the midst of the early August heatwave, Davis, owner of the company Age of Bronze, undertook to restore to its original bronze patina, the 7 ½ foot soldier that appears in battle stride atop an eight foot granite base inscribed with the names of men lost in the First World War. The war memorial is located in the aptly-named Memorial Square in downtown historic Summerside. It was unveiled before a large crowd on July 1, 1922.

While the heat was intense for Davis, who worked long days from the staging that surrounded the monument, the hot dry weather did make the time-consuming process easier to carry out. The final result is impressive as the soldier has regained his brown patina which is as close as possible to his finished coat upon leaving the foundry of the Thomson Memorial Works in Toronto back in 1922. The restoration has brought back to life the intricate details of the work of art that speaks to the strife of war.  

The value of a monument to record the names of community men who lost their lives in the Great War began to be discussed in 1919 when the bulk of Canadian soldiers finally arrived home from the battlefields of Europe.  Various community groups became involved in the initiative, including the Summerside Great War Veterans Association, which was strong in its belief that the monument should be erected in memory of all Prince County soldiers who were killed. Funds for its creation were collected through public subscription and covered the cost of $8000 which translates to about $135,000 in today’s currency.

Funding from Veterans Affairs Canada and the City of Summerside made the restoration possible. 

The public is invited to visit the memorial to view the restored monument that tells the story of war through evoking the five senses.