Statue of Soldier on Cenotaph, Victoria B.C., by English immigrant brothers Sydney March (1876-1968) and Vernon March (1891-1930). Unveiled 1925. Bronze. Below the statue, bronze plaques commemorate Canadians lost in both world wars, earlier wars, and peacekeeping missions. Nelson Island granite was used for the architectural elements, as for the Legislative buildings themselves. The Cenotaph is prominently sited in the grounds of the Legislative Buildings, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

The historians Anthony A. Barrett and Rhodri Windsor Liscombe explain that the original idea for a South African war memorial here was floated in January 1901. It was to have taken the form of a permanent floral gateway (The Parrdeburg Gate) at the south end of the James Bay Bridge, just where the Cenotaph is today (see Barrett and Liscombe 114, and 298 in Appendix A). Plans were submitted by Richard Mawson and F. M. Rattenbury at the beginning of that month, but the cost was probably judged prohibitive: the project was nevr realised. Apparently, all that connects the Cenotaph to the earlier project is the stone plinth, which would have been at the south end of the gateway.

Photographs by Philip Allingham; text by Allingham and Jacqueline Banerjee. [Click on the image to enlarge it.] You may use these images without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one.


Barrett, Anthony A., and Rhodri Windsor Liscombe. Francis Rattenbury and British Columbia: Architecture and Challenge in the Imperial Age. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 1983.

The Cenotaph. Legislative Assembly. Web. 6 May 2023.

Legislative Assembly of British Columbia. Web. 6 May 2023.

Created 6 May 2023