Sigs Club Stone Cairn

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100th Anniversary of Military Communications in Canada

The Memorial Dedication Service was dedicated 18 April 2004 in the rain at the Museum of Military Communications and Electronics at CFB Kingston. Below are photos taken during the ceremony and of the cairn.

History of the Memorial

Photos of the dedication ceremony and the cairn

The Signaller's Club of Canada
100th Anniversary of Military Communications in Canada
Communications and Electronics Museum
CFB Kingston
Dedicated 18 April 2004

"The Signal's Spirit"

"This is the spirit of the men of the flag and lamp, the semephore and the key. It has come down through the ages. It is as old as time and immortal as the gods. These are the heralds of the world. By their noble devotion and self-sacrifice they have contributed to the advancement of mankind. By this you shall know them. Since the realization of the dignity of man, their kind has been the messengers. Proudly they have proclaimed the birth of monarchs, sadly have they announced the death of the lonely soldier on a far-off foreign battlefield. Their roots are sunk deep in the past, and are enmeshed along the path of Man's forward march towards happiness and peace. Two thousand years ago the "V"s' which in these modern times symbolize the Corps, attained immortality when used to announce the glory of Caesar. Within our day, it stood alone-as the Empire stood alone - to stand for victory: the hope for all the then enslaved, for whom men served and sacrificed and died. To these men of Signals we owe much for they have given much. Civilization in its relentless march towards progress has changed the means by which they toil, but the spirit remains, constant and unchanged throughout the ages. Gone is the swift runner with the flaming torch held high. Relegated to the past are the signal tower and the pony rider. The smoke ring remains only in song and story; and the throb of the distant jungle drum is muffled and faltering. But the spirit lives on, and is richer for having been in their keeping."

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History of the Memorial: (100th Anniversary of Military Communications in Canada)

To understand the concept of the memorial for communicators, we must take a brief look at history.

After the second world war the British dedicated a Cairn at Blandford England in honour of Canadian Signallers. As all memorial Cairns decayed to a point that it had to be replaced. The Cairn was disassembled, and the time capsule (an ammunition box) was taken out and is now in the Communications and Electronics Museum at CFB Kingston. The British Royal Signal Corp decided to erect another monument to show the fond feeling and respect they had for the Canadian Signallers who had helped them during the second world war. They decided to place a large piece of stone with appropriate encryptions on it. The stone is the same stone that Windsor Castle is made of and came from the same quarry as did the rock for the castle. Signallers Bill Richard and Bill Marshall from the Signallers Club of Canada were in attendance for the dedication. The monument is located at the British School of Signals at Blandford England.

With the 100th Anniversary of Military Communications in Canada, just around the corner, the then president of the Signallers Club, Bill Fallows, suggested that we should also dedicate a memorial to all communicators and support staff who served and supported communications in the forces. The executive went out to the membership to ask for ideas for an appropriate memorial.

Ideas from bursaries, to travelling around the world were submitted. Regrettably, many ideas that were submitted were far beyond the club's ability or finances.

The executive sat down and put their heads together and Ron Knapton came up with the idea of matching the British idea and recommended we put a large rock, from the greater Kingston area, as this is the home of communications, as the centre piece of the memorial. The executive supported the idea in principle and gave Ron the go ahead to look for an appropriate rock.

Through Ron's contacts in Gananaoque, he was able to find a rock that might meet the requirements. Having found a rock with a sense of might and character, he contacted the museum staff and they went and had a look at the big rock.

With agreement from the club's executive and the museum staff the task for Ron was now to get the rock to the museum. Well, after some delay Ron finally got the rock in place but a little to late to have it dedicated in time for the 100th Anniversary Reunion on Labour Day Weekend in 2003.

The memorial is now in place at the C & E Museum with the Signals hat badge and the plaque on the rock.

The monument represents all communicators in the Canadian Forces, from Engineers who developed the communications equipment, the staff who trained the people to use the equipment and the individuals who used the equipment, no matter what shoulder flash you had or have on your shoulder.

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