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The Cenotaph, erected in the St. Norbert Cemetery, was an over-grown, long forgotten homage to the thirteen men who fought and died in World War I and who were connected to the St. Norbert area.

In 2008, Art Bloomfield, long-time St. Norbert resident, took a closer look at the overgrown monument while walking his young grandson to preschool. Soon after, he and his family made it their personal mission to ensure that the cenotaph and those thirteen men whose names are etched in stone were forgotten no more.

Celebrate and honour these men at the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month.

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thirteen names etched in stone

photo of the St Norbert cenotaph click for a larger photo of the cenotaph Just south of Winnipeg, Manitoba in a very old cemetery on Avenue Ste. Therese in the community of St. Norbert, stands a cenotaph. With a cross of stone at the top, a border of stone to mark the ground setting the cenotaph apart from the rest of the cemetery, the front of the monument offers little information about those who it was erected to honour. At the top of the main stone, the French words...

A la Glorieuse mémoire des Volontaires
de ST NORBERT tombes au champ d Honneur
pendant la Grande Guerre

When translated to English, it reads

To the Glorious memory of the Volunteers
of ST NORBERT who fell on the field of honor
during the Great War

Below that, thirteen soldiers' names, the letters R.I.P. and the years 1914 - 1918. But the cenotaph itself, tells you little else.

It doesn't tell you about the young men who left their families behind to fight in the great war, nor about the fears each felt as they faced a great unknown. Absent are their worries about what lay ahead of them, halfway around the world. It doesn't mention the brothers who both fought and died for our freedoms or the two new Canadians who left their adopted homes to join the allies in the fight. Missing are their dates of birth, their physical descriptions, religious affiliations and the names of their family members. You won't find the battalion they joined or transferred to or the names of the battlefields on which they fought. The information about the medals they were awarded is nowhere to be found on the stone. And the cenotaph certainly doesn't tell you how, where or when they died. But you know that they did indeed lay down their lives for all the people here at home and for generations to come.

It doesn't tell you that these men are our heroes, but you know in your heart that it is absolutely true. We hope to give you a better sense of these men and the lives they lead and lost.

Origins of the Cenotaph

photo of school boys larger photo of school boys The history of the cenotaph was traced through documents at the La Société historique de Saint-Boniface (SHSB). It was financed by a collection from the students. (A hand-written list of students and amounts collected from each is on photo 1 & photo 2). The funds were then given to the Principal Monsieur J.A.M. Cyr and then donated to Cure M. Cloutier.

Through the records we were able to approximate the date the Cenotaph was erected as being between 1921 and 1922 as Cure M. Cloutier became a Monseigneur in 1922.

We also secured a hand written list (page 1 & page 2) of the Militaires de St. Norbert.   The list contained 48 Regular forces and 13 Reservist. This list has also been annotated in French, with notes as to which soldier was wounded (blessé) and killed (tué). Those soldiers that were killed in action are marked with an asterisk (*). (It is unknown who the author of the hand-written list was.)

We expanded the list through extensive research to 71 Regulars. Using the 1916 census and the “Attestation Papers”. Through further research we have connected the majority to their families from St. Norbert. Of these 71 regulars 13 were killed in action and 3 Reservists were also killed in action, one of which was Jules Seewald (from France).

Our 13 fallen heroes

Read about the thirteen men whose names are etched in the stone of the St. Norbert Cenotaph.

Francois Cardinal Charles Leaumorte
Arthur Carriere Alfred Lord
Roger Chartrand James Normand
Richard Fenton Albert Ryan
Joseph Frobisher Ernest Ryan
Alfred Laliberte Alfred Taylor
Jules Seewald (Réserviste)

The Cenotaph at St Norbert is Memorial Number 46011-003.

*with files from Brian Cyr

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