The End of the Year Round Summer

Copyright 2016, Public Art of Toronto. All rights reserved.

South African War Memorial, 1910
Located: 360 University Ave
Artist: Walter Seymour Allward (1876-1955)
Commissioned by: (1843–1918)
Copyright 2016, Public Art of Toronto. All rights reserved.

In the week leading up to Remembrance Day on November the 11th, PATO will be featuring various memorials to Canada’s valiant war heroes.

The memorial was unveiled by Boer War hero, Sir John French in 1910. It was he who led the march to relieve the battle at Kimberly and the counter-insurgency operations in Cape Colony.

For twenty years Torontonians would gather on February 27th, known as Paardeberg Day, to honour and pray for their war dead. That tradition was continued until Remembrance Day took its place in 1931.

Walter S. Allward created a beautiful memorial to a gruby little war.

From its clean lines and prosaic portrayals of the soldiers, you would never guess it was the first time Canadian soldiers participated in what would later become known as war crimes.  Our troops burnt houses and farms, denied food to civilians, and interned them in filthy camps where up to 28,000 people would languish and die over three years.

These victims of war deserve a monument as much as the soldiers do.

Want to learn more about the Boer War? Read here. How did Walter Allward come to sculpt the memorial? Find out here.

The title for this article comes from George Orwell’s quote: “Before the war, and especially before the Boer War, it was summer all the year round.”

 Sources: Canadian War Museum, Canada and the South African War (1899 – 1902), (November 8, 2016)
Historic Toronto, Toronto’s Boer War Monument, (November 8, 2016),
Wikipedia, James Mason(Canadian Politician), (November 8, 2016),, John French, 1st Earl of Ypres, (November 8, 2016),,_1st_Earl_of_YpresWikipedia, Second Boer War, (November 8, 2016),
Wikipedia, South African War Memorial, Toronto (November 8, 2016),
Wikipedia, Walter Seymore Allward, (November 8, 2016),

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s